Skip to main content

We're fighting for the future of our library in court. Show your support now!

Full text of "Beside old hearth-stones"

See other formats



?f i^: 


I Cliap.. .,-<-, Copyright No. 

i She!iL...M7 B7 








Beneath Old Roof Trees Fully illustrated, $1.50 

Beside Old Hearthstones " " 1.50 

Along Old Roadways (In press) 

History of Bedford Family Edition 10.00 

" " Popular Edition 7,00 

Bedford Old Families (Wood cuts) 1.50 

" " (Steel engravings) • 2.50 

Glimpses of Old New England Life 50 

Flag of Minute Men With colored plate 

Cloth .50 

Paper 25 

Footprints of the Patriots 

Beside Old Hearth-Stones 



life" "history of BEDFORD" ETC. 

The stranger at my fireside cannot see the fortns I see, 

Nor hear the sounds I hear ; 
He but perceives ivhat is ; while unto me 

All that has been is visible and clear. 

Longfellow's Haunted Houses. 



Copyright, 1897, by Lee and Shepaf 

All rights reserved. 

Beside Old Hearth-Stones 









O for the swords of former time, 
O for the men who bore them. 

When arm''dfor right, they stood sublime, 
A nd tyrants crouch'd before them. 


'; i- 

:, e-^ 


In this volume, as in the first of the series, I 
have endeavored to bring to light some of the 
obscure movements of the early patriots. 

The search for these has called me to the outer 
circle of the battlefield of the opening Revolution, 
where footprints of the minute-men have escaped 
the eye of the tourist. 

I desire to acknowledge the continued courtesy 
of the members of the families now occupying the 
old farms from which their ancestors went oitt 
determined to have liberty or death. 

In offering this volume to the public, it is with 
a sincere desire that all descendants of the early 
patriots, whether located on the old homesteads 
or in homes far distant from New England, may 
have a just appreciation of the cost of the glorious 
heritage of freedom to which they are born. 

It is my purpose to continue this search, and I 
shall be glad to receive any suggestions whereby 
better results may be obtained for the promotion 
of good citizenship. 



Chapter I. — pagk 

Lexington Alarm in Northern Middlesex . . , . . I 

Groton Plantation 2 

Groton Patriots on April 19, 1775 ....... 4 

In Camp at Cambridge ......... 5 

The Death-Koll at Punker Ili'.l 5 

The Prescott Family 6 

Champney Mouse 7 

Grave of Captain Abram ChiUl 9 

Chapter II. — 

Origin of Shirley and Pcppcrell II 

Colonel William Prescott II 

Reverend Joseph Emerson , 14 

Pepperell's Relief for Boston in 1760 15 

Town and Church Records 15 

Patriotic Acts in Pepperell 19 

Chapter III. — 

The Prescott Family 21 

, Prescott Homestead 23 

Echoes from its Wood-Capped Hills ...... 25 

Society of the Cincinnati 25 

Connection with Governor Roger Wolcott .... 26 

Alliance with the Linzee Family 27 

Characteristics of Colonel William Prescott .... 30 

Chapter IV. — 

Rev, Charles Babl)idge gives the General Report of the 
Battle of Bunker Hill as he heard it from the Old 

Soldiers 34 


Chapter IV. (^Continued) — pagf. 

The Preacher in Camp ....,.,...= 36 

Pepperell's Dead at Bunker Hill ...,,.-. 36 

Colonel Prescott's Grave ......, = >. 38 

Graves of Other Heroes ... . . . = 39 

Lieutenant Joseph Spaulding ... ,41 

The Sword of Bunker Hill ...... 44 

Chapter V. — 

Rev. Charles Babbidge's Experience with Old Soldiers 

of the Revolution 46 

Thomas Paine's " Common Sense" 46 

No Government Homes for Veterans of the War . . 47 

Military Service of Harvard College ...... 49 

Story of Edmund Bancroft 50 

Burgoyne's Officers and their Dogs ...... 50 

Story of Edmund Blood 53 

Chapter VI. — 

Pepperell, cY?///?//z/(v/ 55 

Williams's Place 55 

Parker Honiestead 5^ 

The Plough in the Furrow 5^ 

Shattuck Family 57 

Blood Family 57 

Warner Home 61 

Jewett's Bridge • 61 

" Paugus John" 02 

Chapter VII. — 

First Settlers of Shirley 70 

Longley and Hazen 70 

Longley Homestead 77 

Story of "Will the Miller" 78 

Joshua Longley and Bridget Melvin . . . . 80 

Hon. George S. Boutwell as a Schoolmaster .... 83 

Holden Family 87 

Chapter VIII.— 

Shirley, continued .......-.••• 88 


Chapter VIII. {Counnncd) — page 

John Holden, the Boy Fifer ....'..... 88 

Oliver Holden, the Composer of "Coronation" . . 91 

The Meeting-House a Magazine 94 

Gift of Madam Lydia Hancock 96 

Bounty Coat 97 

Chapter IX. — 

Story of the Town of Hollis, N.H. ...... loi 

Movements of Hollis Patriots loi 

At Old Homesteads 103 

Evil Work of a Tory Woman 108 

Hollis Gun-Makers no 

Chapter X. — 

Hollis, continued 113 

The Worcester Home 114 

The Lexington Alarm at the Worcester Door . . . 114 

Town Meeting called 116 

Death-RoU at Bunker Hill 118 

Equipments lost in the Battle of June 17, 1775 • • "9 

Call from General Sullivan 121 

Boy Soldiers 122 

The Worcester Family in the World 124 

Thanksgiving Day at the Okl Home 124 

Chapter XI. — 

Hollis, continued 126 

Tenney Homestead 126 

Deacon Enoch Jewett Colburn 128 

Washington's Soldiers make Maple-Sugar for the Army, 129 

Whole Families in the War 129 

The Nevens Boulder 131 

Schoolteachers' Pay in the Revolution 135 

The Old Burying-Ground 135 

Chapter XII. — 

John Colburn tells his Father's Story of the Northern 

Campaigns 139 

Burgoyne's Alliance with Indians 140 


Chapter XII. {Continued) — page 
King George III. hires the Germans to fight the Pro- 
vincials 144 

Chapter XIII. — 

Prisoners of War in America 146 

Journey to Cambridge ......147 

Provincial Barracks again occupied 148 

Honor among Prisoners of War 149 

The Baroness tells her Story ......... 1 54 

"Tory Row" 154 

Route from Saratoga to Cambridge 161 

Chapter XIV. — 

Baron and Baroness Riedesel 164 

German Allies 164 

Start from Germany 164 

The Baroness at the Court of King George III. . . 168 

Reception in America .171 

Women follov^^ the Army 174 

Chapter XV. — 

Danvers . 175 

First Settlers 175 

Home of Colonel Jeremiah Page . 176 

Office of Governor Thomas Gage 179 

Family Recollections of Last Governor under the Crown, 180 

Origin of Lucy Larcom's Poem, "A Gambrel Roof, ' 183 

The Lexington Alarm 186 

Burial of Danvers Heroes killed at Menotomy, April 

19, 1775 s ... 189 

The Bell Tavern 191 

Chapter XVI. — 

Danvers, continued 194 

Moses Porter's Homestead 194 

Story of his Patriotism I95 

Patriotic Women work for the Soldiers 196 

Home of Deacon Putnam, who led a Company on April 

19, 1775 19:^ 


Chapter XVI. {Continued^ — page 

Danvers Ministers in the Fight 198 

General Israel Putnam 199 

The Putnam Home and Family 200 

Baptism of Israel Putnam 200 

Story by "Old Put's" Great-Granddaughter . . . 206 

Chapter XVII. — 

Danvers, contiiiiied 209 

King Hooper and Governor Gage 210 

Camp of the Enemy 213 

Hoi ton Family 214 

Samuel Holton's Letter to Daniel Putnam . . . . 217 

King George's Whipping-Post 215 

Washington's Letter to Major Lowe 220 

Major-General Gideon Foster 222 

List of Eight Danvers Companies 221 

Chapter XVIII. — 

The Story of Dill, a Negro Slave in the Revolution . 224 

Chapter XIX. — 

Chelmsford and Early Patriots 238 

Early Means of Protection from the Enemy .... 239 

Old Garrisons 240 

The Patriot Preacher 240 

Story of Henry S. Perham 244 

Positive Acts of the Chelmsford Patriots 245 

Relief to Boston Sufferers 247 

Lexington Alarm 249 

Mr. George Spaulding tells his Grandfather's Story . 249 

Patriots too much in Haste to stop for Prayer ... 250 

Journal of Reverend Ebenezer Bridge 251 

Chapter XX. — 

Footprints of the Patriots of the Revolution in Lowell, 261 

Bowers Family Homestead of Two Hundred Years . 262 

Story of Ford Homestead 265 

Captain John Ford's Descendant tells the Story of the 

Patriot Miller 266 


Chapter XX. {Coutiuned ) — page 

Captain Ford's Journal in the Northern Campaign of i 776 269 

List of Patriots preserved by Captain Ford .... 273 

Story of Father of President Franklin Pierce . . . 275 

Chapter XXI. — 

Old Hearth-Stones in Chelmsford 276 

Perham Homestead, where Nine Generations of the Fam- 
ily have lived 277 

Ten Generations of vSpauldings on the Old Farm . . 278 

The Old Garret of the Spaulding House 28 1 

Eleven Generations of Fletchers on the Old Farm . 292 

Hayward Home the Old Garrison 283 

Old Home of the Byams since 1655 285 

Thomas Henchman and the Warren Family .... 286 

The Burying-Ground 296 

Chapter XXH. — 

Chelmsford, continued 316 

Contagion from the Army 316 

Formation of the Government by the Patriots . . . 318 

Story of a Patriot Spinner 321 

Peter Brown writes to his Mother from Cambridge Camp, 323 

Miss Susan Brown tells the Story of her Grandfather, 327 

The First Blood at Bunker Hill 332 

Chapter XXHI. — 

A Boston Family takes Refuge in Chelmsford . . . 334 

The Town of Boston after the Siege 334 

Chapter XXIV. — 

Four Emersons, Patriot Preachers of the Revolution . 344 

Ancestry 346 

Letter from Reverend Samuel Moody 348 

Reverend Daniel Emerson in French War .... 351 

Reverend Joseph Emerson in the Army ..... 359 

Courtship of the Minister 359 

Reverend William Emerson of Concord ..... 362 

Reverend John Emerson and the Tories 364 


Sidney Craige Perham, Ninth Generation, by the old Hearth- 
Stone Fyontispiece 

Stone marking Birthplace of Colonel William Prescott, 

Groton Page 6 

Champney House, Groton 7 

Monument on Site of the Meeting-House in the Mother 

Town 20 

Prescott Homestead, Pepperell 25 

Swords of Colonel William Prescott and Captain John Lin- 
zee 28 

Tablet seen in the Mother Town 30 

Rev. Charles Babbidge 32 

Fac-Simile of Page — Pepperell Church Records .... 37 

Grave of Rev. Joseph Emerson, Pepperell 38 

Grave of Colonel William Prescott, Pepperell 39 

Lieutenant Joseph Spaulding's Commission ..... 43 

The Sword of Bunker Hill 44 

Discharge of Edmund Blood 53 

The Blood Homestead 54 

Old Parker Plough , 56 

Colonel Shattuck's Home, Pepperell 58 

Colonel Samuel P. Shattuck 62 

Mrs. Samuel P. Shattuck 63 

Pepperell Magazine 68 

Edmund H. N. Blood, Pepperell 69 

Hazen Home, Shirley 71 

Shirley Oak 74 

Shirley Schoolhousj 83 

A Battered Seat from Shirley Schoolhouse 84 



Old Home, Shirley Page 85 

Longley Ball, and Shirley Relics of the Revolution . , 95 

Longley Well 98 

W. Shirley 100 

John Colburn 102 

Bunker Hill Monument 119 

Worcester Homestead, Hollis, N.H. 123 

Jesse and Sarah Worcester 124 

Hollis Training Field 125 

Tenney Homestead, Hollis, N.H 127 

Nevens's Boulder 138 

Hessian Tobacco Box 145 

Baroness Riedesel 153 

Apthorp House, Caml)ridge, where Burgoyne was imprisoned, 158 

Burgoyne's Candlesticks 161 

Colonel Jeremiah Page Home, Danvers 176 

Governor Gage's Office 179 

Page Garrett, Danvers 182 

Danvers Monument, Peabody 190 

Birthplace of General Israel Put nam 201 

Mary (Waldo) Webber, Great Granddaughter of " Old Put " 205 

Scions of Putnam Tree in the Fifth Generation .... 207 

King Hooper House, Danvers 211 

Dill's Daughter, Anstiss 235 

St. Peter's Church at Salem 236 

Chelmsford Monument (Revolutionary) 258 

Bowers Homestead, Lowell 262 

Captain Ford Homestead, Lowell 265 

Perham Homestead, Chelmsford . . . ' 277 

Spaulding Home, Chelmsford 279 

Spaulding Watch, used at Bunker Hill 280 

Mrs. Shedd 282 

ilayward Garrison, Chelmsford 2S4 

Byam Home, Chelmsford 285 

Captain Bill Fletcher's House 292 

Major Thomas Hinchman's Military Order 297 

Hinchman Stone, Chelmsford 297 


Cornelius Waldo Stone Page 298 

Minister's Table, Chelmsford 300 

Tablet to the Memory of the Town Clerk, Chelmsford . 302 

Clark Stones, Chelmsford 303 

Clark Tavern, Lowell 305 

Parker Homestead, Lowell 307 

Commission to Benjamin Parker, Chelmsford 309 

Parker Garrett Treasures, Lowell 314 

Fletcher Stone in Chelmsford 317 

Polly Carter's Reel 321 

South College (Massachusetts Hall) 327 

Dudley Foster 333 

Birthplace of Asa Pollard, Billerica 333 

Rand Pincushion 338 

Mary Rand Slippers 343 

Emerson Autographs 346 

Joseph Emerson's Chair, Pepperell 350 



So through tlie night rode Paul Revere, 

And so through the night went his cry of alarm 

To every Middlesex village and farm, — 

A cry of defiance and not of fear, 

A voice in the darkness, a knock at the door, 

And a word that shall echo forevermore. 








No time was lost in extending the " Lexington 
Alarm," and so thorough had been the planning 
that but little or no time was wasted in the most 
distant towns before the patriots started for the 
relief of the distressed. Northern Middlesex had 
given no uncertain sound during all the time when 
the troubles were culminating. The older citi- 
zens were familiar with the war cry, many of them 
having repeatedly rushed to arms in the early 


wars; and the fireside tales were those of personal 
sufferings in the Indian troubles and French wars. 
In many a home was reference made to the family 
record in the well-worn Bible, and the pine torch 
lighted in order that the youngest listener might 
be duly impressed by reading for himself such 
entries as "Killed at Crown Point ; Died at Cham- 
plain ; Killed by Indians at Fort George." Ticon- 
deroga and Crown Point were household words, 
kept vividly in mind by the old musket that had 
done service in that well-known region. No fairy 
tales found listeners in these homes ; for the siege 
of Louisburg and the destruction of the peaceful 
Acadian villages, scenes in which these people 
had a part, furnished ample subject for twilight 

There was a tract of land, more than thirty 
miles inland, granted to Dean Winthrop and 
others, and incorporated as early as 1655 by the 
name of Groton. It was named for the home of 
the Winthrops, in Groton, England. Seven years 
passed before the record appears of the erection 
of that all-important building, a meeting-house, 
and of the election of those well-known New 
Enorland functionaries, selectmen. These settlers, 
like other pioneers whom we delight to honor, 
exemplified true Christian heroism. With their 
minister. Rev. Samuel Willard, they faced the 
hardships of frontier life with a resignation hard 
to be understood in these days of luxury and 


comfort. ''They lived on the rough edge of civ- 
ilization ; and nothing stood between them and 
an unbroken wilderness." Christian civilization 
was apparent, when King Philip's war broke out, 
and sorrow settled upon the place. The greater 
part of the houses were destroyed, including the 
meeting-house ; some of the people were killed, 
and others carried into captivity. Although forced 
to abandon the undertaking for a while, those 
people heroically took up the burden again, and 
went on successfully. While it was the descend- 
ants and successors of the pioneers who indelibly 
stamped their names on the records of this set- 
tlement during the later Indian troubles and with 
the French, they manifested no half-hearted spirit 
in the repeated emergencies. 

Territorially Groton admitted of many divisions; 
and the natural increase of population, together 
with the influx from the lower towns, led to the 
formation of several new districts or townships be- 
fore the beginning of hostilities with the mother 
country. Distance only prevented these patriots 
from having a share in the well-known scenes of 
April 19 ; but no better record was made at camp 
in Cambridge, and in battle at Bunker Hill, than 
is found to the honor of these people of northern 


In my search for hidden footprints in the town 
of Groton, I was conducted to the home of Mrs. 


Abigail Moors, who in her ninetieth year was 
mistress of her own home. Referring to her 
father, Imlah Parker, a soldier of the Revolution, 
this interesting woman emphatically said, ''I have 
always thought he was the nicest man that ever 
lived." With memory undimmed, she, the last of 
a family of nine children, lives in the full enjoy- 
ment of filial affection, bearing testimony to the 
fact that the true parent is the real patriot. 

It has been shown in ''Beneath Old Roof Trees" 
that the people of Groton received no encourage- 
ment from their pastor towards resistance to Brit- 
ish aggression ; in fact, if they had followed their 
minister, they would all have been classed with the 
Tories. But from the spring of 1765, when the 
odious Stamp Act was passed, they had been out- 
spoken in the interests of the Colonies, regardless 
of their spiritual leader. Two companies of min- 
ute-men were enlisted in the town agreeably to 
the recommendation of the First Provincial Con- 
gress, in its resolve of October 26, 1774, at Con- 
cord. The alarm of April 19 was quickly met by 
the response of these companies, under Captains 
Henry Farwell and Asa Lawrence. 

The alarm of the previous day, already explained 
in this series, had started Captain Nathan ^ Corey 
and other Groton men to Concord in advance of 
the companies, and hence given Groton some repre- 
sentatives at Old North Bridge. Two companies 

^ Not Aaron. 


of militia followed the minute-men on the 19th, and 
all gathered at Cambridge before that April day 
had closed. There is sufficient reason for believ- 
ing that General Artemas Ward found the Groton 
men to be faithful soldiers. He had a special in- 
terest in the old families of that town. His wife, 
Sarah Trowbridge, to whom he was married in 
1750, was daughter of Rev. Caleb and Hannah 
(Walter) Trowbridge of Groton. When the im- 
mortal scroll of June 17 was made up, it appeared 
that Groton had suffered great loss. Among the 
dead was Sergeant Benjamin Prescott, a nephew 
of Colonel William Prescott. 

The following names appear on the bronze tab- 
lets at Charlestown : — 

prescott's regiment. 

Parker's coiupany. — Peter Fisk, David Kemp. 

Lawrence^ s cojiipany. — James Dodge, Stephen Foster, 
Abraham Blood, Benjamin Wood,i Simon Hobart, Robert 

FarweWs coiupany. — Jonathan Jenkins. 

Moors' s coi?ipaiiy. — Sergeant Benjamin Prescott. 

Corey' s company. — Chambers Corey. 

Although the Colonel Prescott homestead was 
lost to Groton through the dismembership of the 
town, the name has been closely identified with it. 
Various members of the family are notable in its 

^ See Pepperell Death-roll. Chapter IV. of this volume. 


The first to appear in the town was Jonas, son 
of John the immigrant, who came to this country 
about 1640, and settled at Lancaster, where often, 
in a coat of mailed armor, he appeared to the trou- 
blesome Indians, impressing them as of super- 
natural origin. Jonac, at Groton, was a captain of 
the yeomanry militia at the time when the sav- 
ages were committing their depredations. Benja- 
min, a son of Jonas, was born in 1696, and was 
a man of military and civil distinction. He ob- 
tained lands on the border-line of the town. A 
monument standing at an angle of the road near- 
ing the centre of Groton tells the followino: : 
" Colonel William Prescott Commander of the 
American forces at the Battle of Bunker Hill, was 
born on the 20th of February, 1726, in a house 
which stood near this spot." Brothers of Colonel 
William were Dr. Oliver and Judge James Pres- 
cott, each of whom honored the town of his nativ- 
ity. One of the selectmen in 1775 was Oliver 
Prescott ; Honorable James Prescott was a mem- 
ber of the first, second, and third Provincial Con- 
gress, and of the Board of War in 1776. Oliver 
Prescott was a member of the Council in 1777. 
The family was also represented in other impor- 
tant positions during the war ; and Honorable 
James Prescott was the representative from the 
town in the first General Court of the Common- 
wealth of Massachusetts, which assembled on 
Wednesday, Octaber 25, i7<So. It thus appears 


that the heroism of John the immigrant was per- 
petuated in his descendants, who proved them- 
selves to be true patriots and good citizens in the 
time of great trial. 

Some interesting facts are here added in regard 
to the personality of Colonel William Prescott, 

Champney House, Groton 

given by his grandniece, Mrs. Sarah (Chaplin) 
Rockwood, to Dr. Samuel A. Green. Her father 
was Rev. Daniel Chaplin, D.D., of Groton; and 
her mother was Susanna, eldest daughter of Judge 
James Prescott, brother of the colonel. She was 
ten years of age when the hero of Bunker Hill 


*' She describes him as a tall, well-proportioned 
man, with blue eyes and a large head. He usually 
wore a skull-cap ; and he parted his hair in the 
middle, wearing it long behind, braided loosely, and 
tied in a club with a black ribbon, as was common 
in those days. He had a pleasant countenance, 
and was remarkably social and full of fun and 
anecdotes. He was dignified in his manner, and 
had the bearing of a soldier."^ 

Authorities agree on the value of early im- 
pressions ; and we can but credit this description 
of the personal appearance of Colonel Prescott, 
for it was indelibly stamped upon the youthful 
Sarah Chaplin when sitting upon the knee of the 
old soldier. She attained the remarkable age of 
one hundred and four years. 

The Champney house is one of the few dwell- 
ings remaining to remind us of the patriots of 
Groton who left their homes in exchange for the 
life of the camp and field of battle. 

1 This fact in regard to the dress of the hair was not brought to 
the notice of the sculptor, William W. Story, the modeller of the 
Prescott statue at Bunker Hill. 


In the old buryingrgroimcl of Groton is a stone 
on which is the following record of a patriot who 
was born at Waltham : — 

" \[an lives his little hour and Falls too oft unheeded dorvn.'''' 



Waltham 1741-1834. 93 Years. 

He entered the army in the French War at the age of 17 years. Was 
with Gen. Amherst at the capture of Ticonderoga and Crown 
Point in 1759. He was a Lieut, among tlie 
minute men and aided in the Concord fight and tlie Battle 
of Bunker Hill in 1775. Joining Washington he was one of the Im- 
mortal Band which crossed the Delaware Dec. 25, 1776, and turned 
the tide of war in the victories of Trenton and Princeton. De- 
tached to the North he fought in the two battles of Still- 
water, and witnessed the surrender of Burgoyne in 1777. 
Rejoining Washington he bore equally the frosts 
of Valley Forge and the Heats of Monmouth, 
in 177S. Detailed with Gen. W^ayne, he crowned his 
military career by heading the Infantry as oldest Capt. in the 
gallant capture of Stoney Point in 1779 where he received the only wound 
that marked his eventful services. 

The blood of our fathers, let it not have been shed in vain 




" Tell ye your children of it, and let your children tell their children, 
and their children another generation." — Joel i. 3. 


ELL's relief for boston in 1760. — COLONEL 

Among the towns once included, either whole 
or in part, in Groton Plantation, are Pepperell and 
Shirley. Besides being offshoots from the mother 
township, they had other early and later interests 
in common which make it almost impossible to 
separate them entirely. It was a custom of the 
early days of the Colony for a town to become 
such by degrees. In many cases the remote set- 
tlers set up the plea of the great distance to be 
travelled to get to the meeting-house, and a pre- 
cinct would be established in which better eccle- 
siastical advantages were enjoyed; the next step 
was, in some instances, the formation of a district, 
which gave added privileges ; and then followed 
the right of sending a representative to the Gene- 
ral Court, when the fully equipped town appeared 


upon the records. ^ Pepperell passed through each 
of these preliminary stages, but Shirley was at 
first recognized as a district and then as a town. 
As early as 1742 '* Groton West Parish " appeared 
in the records ; but it was not until eleven years 
later that it was dignified by a name entirely dis- 
tinct from that of Groton, and still later before it 
was classed as a town. It is difficult to tell when 
the political connection with the mother town was 
severed ; for in the exigency of the opening Rev- 
olution, Pepperell, as other districts, had its own 
representative. William Prescott was the district's 
representative in the General Court convened at 
Salem on Friday the seventh day of October, 1774, 
by order of Governor Thomas Gage, and which 
resulted in the First Provincial Congress, that met 
at Concord on the eleventh. When duties in the 
field required the presence of William Prescott, he 
was succeeded by Edmund Bancroft, who served 
in the second and third Provincial Congress. 

In 1753 Shirley was incorporated as a district, 
without having taken the course of first building a 
meeting-house and settling a minister. 

In following the plan of a biographer, I have at 
first given the antecedents of these towns of envi- 
able record in north-west Middlesex, and next turn 

1 During the reign of George the Second, there were objections on 
the part of the royal authorities to forming new towns in the New 
England Colonies, whereby more representatives appeared in the 
local government, hence districts were more commonly formed. 


to the origin of the names assigned them. The 
notable officials William Shirley and William Pep- 
perrell are closely allied in our Provincial history ; 
and as portions of Groton Plantation became dis- 
tricts during the popularity of these men, it was 
natural that their names should be perpetuated in 
this manner. 

William Shirley was governor of the Province 
from August, 1741, to September, 1749. He was 
appointed by the king under the second char- 
ter. It was during this period that the south- 
westerly part of Groton became a district, and 
later a fully equipped town ; hence, it was given 
the name of Shirley in honor of the governor. 

William Pepperrell of Kittery, Maine, was col- 
onel of a regiment of militia, and a merchant of 
great success and popularity. Being well and fa- 
vorably known in Massachusetts and New Hamp- 
shire, he was selected by Governor Shirley as 
commander of the expedition fitted out in 1745 
to capture the fortress of the French at Louis- 
burg, Cape Breton. The marvellous success of 
the expedition turned public attention to the mer- 
chant commander, and no honor was too great to 
be conferred upon him ; hence the northern part 
of Groton, first called ^^ Groton West Parish," 
when becoming a town, was named Pepperrell, in 
honor of the hero of Louisburg. 

The facts that men from these towns were in- 
cluded in the six thousand who made up the army 


in command of Colonel Pepperrell, and that the 
minister of the latter town was a chaplain in the 
expedition, must have strengthened the desire to 
name the town Pepperrell.^ It may seem extremely 
far-fetched to cite the part of these towns in the 
capture of the ''Gibraltar of America" as a rea- 
son for the remarkable record of the later patriots 
of the locality; but the thirty years which inter- 
vened between the experiences at Louisburg and 
Lexington could not have effaced the record, and 
with such a spiritual leader as had the town of 
Pepperell in the Rev. Joseph Emerson the fire 
of patriotism could not go out. In his sermon to 
his parishioners in the spring of 1758, just before 
starting under command of Captain Thomas Law- 
rence for the French war, this patriot preacher 
said from his pulpit, " Let it never be said of a 
Pepperell soldier that he was afraid to face his 
enemies, or that he ever turned his back on 
them, and cowardly deserted the cause of his 

The name of Emerson is of itself enough to 
give the town of Pepperell an honored place in 
the annals of the Colonies ; but when combined 
with that of Prescott there is a union of strength 
which must have exerted an influence upon all 
subsequent generations of the early heroes. It 
is claimed that William Prescott was one of the 

1 The Pepperrell family repeated the "r." The same form 
was used in the name of the town for many years. 


town's representatives at Louisburi^, and it is cer- 
tain that he was lieutenant in the Provincial troops 
sent out to remove the French neutrals from Nova 
Scotia in 1755. 

While we may deplore this measure of war, we 
cannot deny the patriotism which impelled those 
who responded to the call. While our emotions 
are stirred by the slightest reference to those 
Acadian villagers '' on the shores of the Basin of 
Minas," who, *' at peace with God and the world," 
were swept from their homes, we cannot refrain 
from according honor to our townsmen who were 
led in the expedition, and also rejoice that in some 
measure our ancestors atoned for the wrong by 
sharing their meagre comforts with the Evange- 
lines who were left at their doors. 

The early settlers of Pepperell were familiar 
with the hardships of frontier life. Rev. Joseph 
Emerson, who became their minister in 1746, was 
accustomed to seeing little companies of his pa- 
rishioners start off to face the Indians and their 
Erench allies ; fifteen of his people are recorded 
as having perished in that service between the 
years 1748 and 1756. Under the judicious leader- 
ship of their minister their hearts were softened 
by sorrow and sacrifice, and they were ready to 
share their hard earnings with others in distress ; 
a notable instance being shown at the time of 
Boston's great fire of March 20, 1760, when it was 
estimated that the loss was one hundred thousand 


pounds sterling. Rev. Mr. Emerson made the fol- 
lowing record in the church book : — 

" The governor Pownall sent Briefs thro' the Province for 
a general contribution, accordingly we had one here and col- 
lected £6\ \is. Oil. Old Tenor, and when paid the following 
Receit was given. 

Boston, i6/// April, 1760. 
Received of ye Church in Pepperell, whereof the Rev. Mr. 
Joseph Emerson is Pastor, the sum of sixty four pounds, 
twelve shillings old tenor for ye sufferers in the late fire. 

John Phillips." 

With the many publications which treat of the 
Revolutionary period at our command, there is no 
way in which the patriot of to-day may become so 
fully impressed by the moral heroism with which 
each town met its share of suffering and made 
its sacrifice, as by carefully studying the worn yel- 
low leaves of the records of the town meetings. 
There each successive step appears in all its sig- 
nificance, recorded in the cramped handwriting of 
the clerk, in many cases spelled without rule, but 
unmistakable in meaning. The student of these 
files cannot fail to read much between the lines, 
and detect in each blot and period a spirit of de- 
termination that knew no compromise. 

The town of Pepperell has an old church record 
in addition to that of the town clerk, which gives 
added testimony to its patriotism. Each resolu- 
tion adopted by this town, if not in the language 
of the Committee of Correspondence of Boston, 


bears the impress of the mind of the patriot 
preacher, whom they gladly followed, and whose 
work for his people and his country was sealed by 
his death in October, 1775. 

In viewing early pastoral acts from the present 
standpoint, when the preaching of politics from 
the pulpit is at the risk of an immediate change 
in spiritual leaders, it is difficult to understand 
much that took place in Pepperell and other towns 
during the contention between Parliament and the 
Provinces. But when fully realizing the exact po- 
sition of the parson of that time, which has been 
set forth in chapter vii. of " Beneath Old Roof 
Trees," one may more easily comprehend the sit- 
uation. Rev. Mr. Emerson, the zealous apostle of 
liberty in this town, found a faithful co-worker in 
William Prescott, one of his parishioners, who, 
besides having inherited peculiar talents for lead- 
ership, had the advantage of the experience of 
mature life. They both had been schooled in mili- 
tary service, and had eyes and ears to detect the 
first indications of the trouble with the mother 
country. But while this preacher was bold in his 
denunciations of the infringements on their rights, 
he was equally positive in declaring from his 
pulpit, " We have a king who is well worthy of 
our affection and obedience." They saw in the 
Stamp Act an occasion for positive declaration. 
They had suffered personally in the king's service 
against the French^ and had seen the stalwart 


young men of the town go out from their midst 
to return no more. They had also shared in the 
unusual drain upon the town's treasury, and they 
most naturally deprecated any act whereby the 
Colonies were to be burdened with greater taxes 
to meet the king's indebtedness. Theirs was the 
voice of the town when, in October, 1765, they in- 
structed their representative in the General Court, 
closing thus : — 

" As the trade of this province is greatly obstructed, and 
the people labor under an almost insupportable debt, we 
expect you will use your utmost endeavors, in the General 
Assembly, that the monies of the province drawn from the 
individuals, may not be applied to any other uses, under any 
pretence whatever, than what is evidently intended in the act 
for supplying the province treasury." 

The repeal of the Stamp Act was an occasion 
for one of Rev. Mr. Emerson's patriotic sermons, 
which was printed ; and copies of it are now treas- 
ured in the homes of the descendants of those 
who most heartily indorsed its sentiments.^ Mr. 
Emerson called the repeal one of the great deliv- 
erances in English history. He urged his people 
to cultivate in their minds and in the minds of 
their children an affection for their mother coun- 
try. He said, " Let us have reverence for and be 
duly subject to lawful authority. Government is 
drawn from God, though the practical form of it 
is left to the prudence and discretion of men." 

^ Printed and sold by Edes and Gill in Queen Street, MDCCLXVI. 


Pastor and people were not slow in learning that 
it was policy rather than justice that actuated the 
British ministry in repealing the Stamp Act ; and 
early in the year 1773 they chose a committee of 
nine "to consider what is proper for this district 
to do, at this alarming time, respecting the en- 
croachments that have been made upon our civil 
privilege." The result of the town's committee, 
communicated to the town of Boston throu2:h its 
Committee of Correspondence, was most encour- 
aging, coming as it did from the remote border of 
the Province. They at first acknowledged the re- 
ceipt of the letter and pamphlet sent to them in 
common with other towns, by the authorities at 
Boston, in which particular and minute accounts 
were given of the encroachments made upon their 
charter privileges. The Boston patriots were fully 
assured of the alarm of their sympathizers at a 
distance. They say : — 

" We of this place are unanimous ; no less than one hun- 
dred have signed a request to the selectmen to call a meet- 
ing, though we count but one hundred and sixty families ; 
and when met the fullest meeting that was ever known on 
any occasion, and not a dissenting vote or voice. We feel 
for ourselves, we feel for our posterity, we feel for our breth- 
ren through the continent. We tremble at the thought of 
slavery, either civil or ecclesiastical, and are fully sensible 
of the near connection there is between civil and religious 
lil)erty. If we lose the former the latter will not remain ; our 
resentment (not to say our indignation) rises against them, 
let them be in whatsoever relation they may, who would dare 
invade our natural or constitutional rijihts."" 


The voters gave their representative positive 
advice, and at the same time voted to add two 
casks of powder with lead " answerable to their 
stock of ammunition." 

In showing the successive steps in the town of 
Pepperell which led up to the 19th of April, 1775, 
there is left no room for doubt that the acts of the 
Boston leaders were as leaven to all the communi- 
ties affected by the king's arbitrary measures. So 
thoroughly aroused were the people at this north- 
ern border of the Province that more than a year 
before the Declaration of Independence was for- 
mulated, they concluded a series of resolutions 
thus : — 

" We therefore instruct you, sir, that you, in our name 
and behalf, signify to the Great and General Court, of which 
you are a member, that our opinion is, that independence is 
the only alternative for the safety of this oppressed land, and 
that if the honorable Congress should think it best for the 
safety of the United Colonies to declare them independent 
of Great Britain, we acquiesce heart and hand, and are de- 
termined, at the risk of life and treasure, to support the 


^U cd' 

The appeal of the Boston Committee of Corre- 
spondence met with a prompt response from the 
patriots of Pepperell. Their letter, signed by Wil- 
liam Prescott, was the third in order of date. It 



accompanied forty bushels of grain and promises 
of further assistance with provisions and with men, 
and invoked them '' to stand firm in the common 

Something was yet needed to prove to all gen- 
erations that these people were not as " sounding 
brass or a tinkling cymbal." The Lexington alarm 
reached these remote homes, and the proof was 
readily furnished. The patriots of that day are 
largely represented by name and blood in the resi- 
dents of to-day, but their homes have almost all 
disappeared, or been greatly changed; yet there is 
one to which I most gladly invite my readers. 

Monument on Site of the Meeting-House in 
THE Mother Town 



We have no title-deeds to house or lands ; 
Owners and occupants of earlier dates, 
From graves forgotten stretch their dusty hands, 
And hold in mortmain still their old estates. 







The Prescott family home is on the northern 
border of the town of Pepperell, and on the rising 
ground that soon merges into the hills of the 
Granite State. Its present territory of two hun- 
dred acres was included in the grant of 1655 to 
Mr. Dean Winthrop and others. Benjamin Pres- 
cott was the first of the family to secure a title to 
this remote section. He was doubtless impelled 
by that spirit of adventure which actuated many 
of the early settlers of New England to push out 
where land was abundant, having been impressed 
that such property was the basis of wealth and 
influence in the mother country. Benjamin Pres- 


cott began early to exert an influence in the West 
Parish ; and his son William, who had nearly at- 
tained his majority when the Pepperell home was 
established, found there ample opportunity for the 
development of his powers. No better combina- 
tion of blood, brain, and muscle could be found 
than that which made up the young man William 
Prescott, who, well matched with Abigail Hale, his 
wife of Puritan stock, developed this home on 
the frontier, and continued the family possession. 
This young farmer was a power in the .struggling 
town, whose records show that he was amons: the 
first to protest against injustice. 

We can imagine the influence of his words upon 
the distressed people at the blockaded port of 
Boston, voicing as they did the sentiment of the 
northern border of the Province at the time when 
the mandamus councillors took their oath of office. 

" Be not dismayed nor disheartened in this day of great 
trials. We lieartily sympathize with you, and are always 
ready to do all in our power for your support, comfort, and 
relief; knowing that Providence has placed you where }ou 
must stand the first shock. We consider that we are all 
emerged in one bottom, and must sink or swim together. 
We think if we submit to those regulations, all is gone. Our 
forefathers passed the vast Atlantic, spent their blood and 
treasure, that they might enjoy their liberties, both civil and 
religious, and transmit them to their posterity. Their chil- 
dren have waded through seas of difficulty, to leave us free 
and happy in the enjoyment of English privileges. Now, if 
we should give them up, can our children rise up and call us 


blessed? Is not a glorious death in defence of our liberties 
better than a short, infamous life, and our memory to be had 
in detestation to the latest posterity? Let us all be of one 
heart, and stand fast in the liberty wherewith Christ has 
made us free ; and may he of his infinite mercy grant us 
deliverance out of all our troubles." 

In driving over the delightful hills of the town 
from the village of Pepperell to the Prescott home, 
one can but see in fancy the dignified figure of 
the patriot preacher, as upon his horse he galloped 
over this route to the same homestead to take 
counsel with his gallant young parishioner and 
avowed patriot. Young Prescott was appointed 
captain of the militia company soon after his re- 
turn from the expedition to Nova Scotia, and was 
promoted in 1774 to the position of colonel of the 
regiment of minute-men from Pepperell and ad- 
joining towns. 

Although remote from any centre of habita- 
tion, a powerful influence was exerted from this 
home during the months of anxiety which pre- 
ceded open hostilities. Colonel Prescott was 
nearly fifty years of age, and besides enjoying 
the esteem and confidence of his townsmen, was 
well and favorably known in all that locality ; 
Province line was no barrier to his popularity in 
both civic and military circles. The semiweekly 
drillings of the Pepperell minute-men under Col- 
onel Prescott, and the bold statements from the 
pulpit by Rev. Joseph Emerson, kept the peo- 


pie in constant expectation ; so that when the 
news of April 19 was received they were not 
long in making final preparations. A mounted 
messenger reached the town in the middle of 
the forenoon, declaring that the Regulars had 
come out from Boston, and killed eight men at 
Lexington, and were fighting at Concord. The 
despatch with which Colonel Prescott buckled 
on his sword, and bade wife and only son Wil- 
liam, then thirteen years of age, a tender fare- 
well as he galloped off the hill, may be known 
without resorting to imagination ; for his habits 
of early years and later experience are in proof 
of this. His order was for the Pepperell com- 
pany and that at HoUis to march at once to 
Groton, and there join the company of the latter 
town, while he proceeded directly to Groton. The 
effect of the more immediate contact with Colonel 
Prescott is seen in the report that the company 
from his town reached Groton before the men 
there were ready to march. The selectmen were 
then too-ether distributing; arms and ammunition 
to their soldiers. Dr. Oliver Prescott, chairman, 
brother of the Colonel, upon hearing the music 
and seeing the Pepperell company marching to 
the Common in full ranks, said, ''This is a dis- 
grace to us ! " But if the reader has studied with 
care the first volume of this series, ''Beneath Old 
Roof Trees," he remembers that a portion of the 
Groton company marched during the hours of 


the previous night, and consequently represented 
the town in the fight at Old North Bridge. 

Since it is the Prescott homestead that we are 
now considering, we will leave the minute-men, 
and return to the historic place. Weary with the 
tumult of war, Colonel William Prescott, in the 
spirit of a Cincinnatus,^ returned to his home, 
and resumed the peaceful employment of cultivat- 
ing his paternal acres. War did not deter the only 
son of the colonel from his school course. In 
the autumn of 1776 he left the old hearth-stone 
to attend school at Byfield, where he fitted for 
Harvard College, from which he graduated, and 
become the eminent jurist. Judge William Pres- 
cott. While his life was largely spent elsewhere, 
he never lost his interest in the old home. Of 
the next generation to cherish the ancestral home- 
stead came William H. Prescott, the historian. 
Often weary of city life, he packed his books in 
huge trunks, and took passage in the old stage- 
coach for this family home among the hills, where 
he found tonic in the pure atmosphere, and inspi- 
ration from the invisible presence of his grand- 
sire, the hero of Bunker Hill. The fifth generation 
in possession of the well-known estate was Mr. 

1 "The officers of the American Army having been taken from 
the Citizens of America possess high veneration for the character 
of that ilkistrious Roman, Lucius Quintius Cincinnatus, and being 
resolved to follow his example, by returning to their citizenship, 
they think they may with propriety denominate themselves the 
Society of the Cincinnati." 


William G. Prescott, the only son of the eminent 
scholar and historian. It was his greeting that 
assured me of a cordial welcome to the home, as 
he grave me to drink from the well where the sixth 
generation quaffed from the brimming bucket, 
while a representative of the seventh generation 
prattled in innocency at our feet.^ 

I would fain share with my reader the courtesy 
shown me by Mr. William G. Prescott ; but since 
that is beyond my power, I now invite him to the 
enjoyment of a June day at the old homestead. 

One of the many precious heirlooms with which 
this house abounds is the commission to Colonel 
Prescott in the army of "The United Colonies," 
signed by John Hancock, making him " colonel of 
the 7th regiment of foot." It hangs in the room 
made sacred by the life of the one to whom it was 
given. Another reminder of the colonel is a frag- 
ment of the flowing gown, or banyan, which made 
Colonel Prescott conspicuous in the redoubt at 
Bunker Hill on the 17th of June. He threw aside 
his military wrap in the heat of the engagement, 
and appeared in this peculiar garment, which, 
slashed by many'*a sword thrust, was long treas- 
ured in the home after the colonel had passed 
away. The majestic figure of Colonel Prescott in 
this peculiar dress attracted the eye of General 
Gage, as by the aid of his glass he reviewed the 

1 Child of Hon. Roger Wolcott, now Governor of Massachu- 
setts, and Edith Prescott, daughter of WilHam G. Trescott. 


scenes of that June day. Intent on duty, Colonel 
Prescott was unmindful of danger, scarcely heed- 
ing the shots as they came screaming over his 
head from the sloops of war which lay off in the 
stream. The eye that directed the shots from one 
vessel of the fleet was, strangely enough, destined 
to be changed from that of an enemy of the Pro- 
vincials to that of a stanch friend ; and among 
the attractions of the home, reminding one that 
truth is stranger than fiction, are two cannon-balls, 
supposed to have been fired from the sloop Falcon 
to the redoubt on Bunker Hill. These are rusty 
with the age of one hundred and twenty-one years, 
but are kept near the picture of the man. Captain 
Linzee, who it is supposed directed their course. 

Captain John Linzee of the royal navy, in the 
service of the king, was bent on the destruction 
of the American army at Bunker Hill, and later 
harassing the people of the shore towns. But he 
afterwards became a friend of the Republic, and 
in the days of peace his granddaughter was united 
in marriage with a grandson of Colonel William 
Prescott (William H., the historian). The ro- 
mance of history is brought out most vividly by 
these rusty missiles of war, and by the strong fea- 
tures of the man who steered their course. What 
wonder Thackeray should make note of this in the 
opening of the ''Virginians." 

" On the library wall of one of the most famous writers of 
America there hang two crossed swords which his relatives 


wore in the great war for independence. The one sword was 
gallantly drawn in the service of the king, the other was the 
weapon of a brave and honored republican soldier. The 
possessor of the harmless trophy has earned for himself a 
name alike honored in his ancestors"' country and in his own, 
where genius like his has always a peaceful welcome." 








Battle of Bunker Hill 

17 June, 1775, 


bequeathed to the 


BY HIS grandson 










14 April, 1859, 

by his grandchildren, 




These crossed swords are treasured in the rooms 
of the Massachusetts Historical Society at Bos- 
ton, and remind one of the fulfilment of the proph- 
ecy, ''And he shall judge among the nations, and 
shall rebuke many people : and they shall beat 
their swords into ploughshares, and their spears 
into pruninghooks : nation shall not lift up sword 
against nation, neither shall they learn war any 
more " (Isaiah ii. 4). 


Another treasured relic of war is the hilt of the 
sword used by the first Napoleon. The buffet 
near by in the corner is loaded with the china of 
the united English and American families. The 
most precious are pieces used by Colonel William 
Prescott in his ancient home. A large share of 
richly carved furniture is in use to-day, as it was 
when brought across the water for Judge William 
Prescott, when setting up housekeeping with his 
beautiful bride, Catherine G. Hickling. On the 
right of the front hall of the original house is the 
spacious library of to-day, full of the reminders of 
the historian, whose sweet and thoughtful features 
are represented in a lifelike bust in marble. Hun- 
dreds of volumes suggest his struggle over his in- 
valuable histories. After winding up the staircase 
with its ancient wainscoting of oak, one enters the 
room where the historian did much of his inde- 
fatigable labor. The peculiar arrangement for light 
reminds the visitor of the story of the crust of 
bread thrown by a careless student, which caused 
the historian to lose the sight of one eye for- 

In all the vivid reminders of the successive gen- 
erations of the family, there is nothing to be seen 
that more forcibly recalls the hero of Bunker 
Hill than the brass door-knocker, so often manipu- 
lated by the old soldiers when calling upon the 
colonel, their leader, and the rude chair, with its 
wooden seat and arms, in which Colonel Prescott 


was in the habit of sitting when he entertained 
his friends by the crackling fire. 

So free-handed was the colonel that he never 
refused anything asked by a soldier who fought 
under his command. Hence the colonel left his 
estate in debt, which his son, the judge, cleared, 
and transmitted, in all its rural beauty, to later 

" Pleas'd with his guests, the good man learn'd to glow, 
And quite forgot their vices in their woe; 
Careless their merits or their faults to scan, 
His pity gave ere charity began. 

Thus to relieve the wretched was his pride, 
And even his failings lean'd to virtue's side." 


Tablet Seen in the Muihek Town 



Say then, O poet ! when sages 

Shall anew the tale relate, 

Not for a thousand ages 

Was a little battle so great ; 

Yea, write, besides, on your pages, 

With an adamantine pen. 

Not for a million ages 

May such battle be fought again. 

Thomas W. Parsons, 
Dedication of Tablets at Charlestoivn. 








I KNOW of no Other town in New England hav- 
ing so large part in the opening Revolution whose 
story comes to us to-day in as direct manner as 
does that of Pepperell. Of the more than four- 
score soldiers of the town who left their homes 
on April 19 and fought at Bunker Hill, a full 
score were living when Rev. Charles Babbidge, 


who is now pastor emeritus of the first parish 
church, began his work in that town. It was my 
good fortune to receive from this venerable cler- 
gyman the reports of the personal experience of 
the Pepperell soldiers as he gathered them from 

Rev. Charles Babbidge 

the lips of the veterans when, in his early minis- 
try, he talked with them by the wayside, or gave 
them the consolations of the gospel in their 
homes. Rev. Charles Babbidsfe, now a nonasre- 
narian, began his ministry in Pepperell in 1 833. 
He is one who has never statedly ministered to 


any other people than those of his first clioice. 
For more than sixty-three years he has been rec- 
ognized as the pastor of the first parish, although 
of late not in active service. 

In addition to all the ecclesiastical functions of 
a faithful pastor, Rev. Mr. Babbidge has never 
allowed the fire of patriotism to go out on the 
altar so early kindled in that town by his prede- 
cessor. Rev. Joseph Emerson, and kept burning- 
through all the years of the town's history. How 
far this may be attributable to the location, and 
to the score of heroes of Bunker Hill to whom he 
ministered until they joined their comrades, we 
may not be able to determine. When from the 
standpoint of a nonagenarian this pastor reviewed 
his early years at Pepperell, he expressed himself 
in the semi-scriptural language, " Did not my 
heart burn within me as I walked and talked with 
them by the way, and as they opened to me the 
secrets of their lives t " But his patriotism was not 
sentiment alone ; for at the commencement of the 
Civil War he was chaplain of the Sixth Regiment, 
and the first minister in the country to enlist. 
He thus followed in the footsteps of the town's 
first minister, who is said to have offered up the 
first prayer in camp at Cambridge. Having served 
through the three months' campaign of "the Old 
Sixth," Rev. Mr. Babbidge was commissioned 
chaplain of the Twenty-sixth Massachusetts Regi- 
ment, in which he served three years, when he 


returned to his people.^ With this introduction to 
a modern patriot of Pepperell, my reader must be 
prepared to catch an impulse for good citizenship 
from the story as he received it from survivors of 
the Revolution : — 

" Having been in camp since we arrived there on the 19th 
of April, we had become restless and anxious for some more 
active service, and our order to march over to Charlestown 
on the night of June 16 was gladly received. We were al- 
ways ready to follow our neighbor, Colonel Prescott. It was 
our regiment, with detachments from others, that marched 
from Cambridge Common to Charlestown, and took posses- 
sion of the heights. Our colonel was at the head. He was 
dressed in a simple, loose blue coat and three-cornered hat. 
Two sergeants carried dark lanterns ahead of him ; the in- 
trenching-tools were in carts in the rear. We had our arms ; 
and most of us had one day's rations in our knapsacks, al- 
though some did not obey the order and were not so well 
provided, not realizing what was in store for them. There 
were one or two halts for consultation of the officers ; but we 
reached the hill about midnight, and began work in earnest. 
It went very well until the June sun of the 17th licked up the 
dew, and we began to be weary. We had no sleep, and but 
little refreshment ; yet we could not give up so long as our 
colonel was with us, and cheering us on as he walked lei- 
surely around on the top of the redoubt, giving directions, 
and uttering words of approval, and cracking an occasional 

1 "There is one consideration that may afford you consolation: 
you will never again receive a letter from one, who, like myself, 
played in his childhood in and out of the redoubt on Bunker Hill 
while it still remained precisely as it was when Prescott left it, and 
when Warren moistened it with his l)lood." — Letter from Dr. 
Babbidge written for, and read on, the centennial of Colonel Wil- 
liam Prescott's death. 


joke. He knew that he was detected by the British, but 
seemed perfectly unconcerned. When it was nearly noon 
on the 17th we were pretty tired and sleepy, and our officers 
urged the colonel to send over to General Ward at Cam- 
bridge for fresh troops ; but the colonel would not hear to it, 
and said ' The men who have raised these works will best de- 
fend them ; they have had the merit of the labor, and should 
have the honor of victory if attacked.' 

"General Warren came up with his musket in hand a 
short time before the fight began. Our colonel had heard 
that he had been commissioned major-general the day before, 
and hence offered him the command, to which he replied, 
'No; I have not received my commission. I have come as 
a volunteer, and am happy to learn service from a soldier of 
your experience.' 

"We watched the landing of the enemy, and also the 
cannon-balls as they came over our heads. We could see 
the roofs of the houses over in Boston covered with people, 
watching to see what would be the result of the king's army 
as they landed and marched up the hill. Up the hill they 
came, firing as they advanced. But we kept silent behind 
our embankment, for we knew we had no ammunition to 
waste. ' Aim low, boys,' whispered Colonel Prescott ; ' fire 
at their waistbands, and wait till you see the whites of their 
eyes. Waste no powder.' When the redcoats were almost 
up the hill, their plumes nearly level with its crest, bang ! 
bang ! went our fifteen hundred muskets at once, and down 
went scores of the brave Britishers, cut down as the scythe 
cuts the waving grass. 

" We did the best we could ; but when our ammunition was 
gone, there was no other way for us but to retreat while the 
smoke from the burning town enveloped us. The hardest 
part of it all was to leave so many of our neighbors dead and 
wounded in the redoubt. But after all that we had suffered 
since leaving Cambridge, we would gladly have gone back 
Uiat night with more men and supplies, and retaken the 


heights, or perished there with our townsmen w'ho were 
dead, and others who, missing, we supposed were dead. 

"The grief in these Pepperell homes when the news of 
the battle reached here, we may well imagine. Our people 
were not altogether unprepared for the sad tidings ; they had 
distinctly heard the roar of the cannon. Our faithful pastor 
made his record ; and there on the church book the boys' 
names appear in his handwriting, the same as though they 
had died here peacefully at home." 

The anxiety of Rev. Mr. Emerson for his people 
in camp was so great that he repeatedly made 
journeys to Cambridge that he might minister to 
the survivors. On one occasion while there he 
took a severe cold, which terminated his useful 
life. Another hand completed the record ; but it 
is apparent that pastor and eight of his people 
laid down their lives early in the war for freedom. 
The names of the Pepperell men who fell on the 
i/th of June, as they appear on the bronze tablets 
at Charlestown, are as follows : — 

prescott's regiment. 

Niittiiig's company. — Nathaniel Parker, ^ William Warren, 
Edmund Peers,- Wainwright Fisk, Ebenezer Laughton, Jere- 
miah Shattuck. 

Asa Lawrence compaiiy. — Lieut. Joseph Spaulding, (un- 
assigned) Amasa Fisk.^ 

1 Nathaniel Parker was junior. His father, Nathaniel senior, 
aged sixty-eiglit years, died on the same day of fever at his home 
in Pepperell. 

^ Edmund Peers should be Pierce. 

^ Amasa Fisk must have died later from wounds or disease in a 


ij^r ^nfeLUjA&r cf So/in Oftc^n. j/e^ 6orn.. 

y3 jAyift.^/'S/otgret^iJ^Jt.-f^. Ir, cJ>iA> & 


7 • 

9un.t. :ft Uiaycn _ ^ 

1% J^atf' /o^y/c. JU,!:y£ .A:y^cf ^a^.40^^ H 

jy /5e/r/r//^7 ,y£^ ^c A^i^ 

J.4u^. iy.,AQ>uu^Acr cr/^ Tki?.,^c^7encc a^D ucat- ^^- ^* ^/. ^^uAn/<uj2i 
^//F/' r/\ Vit'ArA^,<o/f .J^^^/^^k' /?^>^*/Cryy/ aI< 





Note. — The church record of deaths of Pcpperell men at 
Bunker Hill seems to be unquestionable as authority, although 
tardy in its appearance. It must have been made soon after the 
17th of June, as it is in the handwriting of Rev. Joseph Emerson, 
whose own death occurred in about four months after the loss of 
his parishioners. Its acceptance is an admission of inaccuracy on 
the memorial tablets at Charlestown. Benjamin Wood, credited 
to Groton, belonged to Pepperell. 

The name of the patriot preacher of Pepperell, 
who died from disease contracted in the service, 
is seen on the rude slab erected by the town, on 
which is read : — 

Weep not for inc. but rvecp for yourselves and for your e/iililrcn 
Erected by the Town of Pepperell 
■ to the memory of 
First Pastor of the Church here, 
wlio deceased Oct. 29th 1775 in the ^26. year of his age, 
and the 29th of his ministry. 
Steadfast in the Faith once delivered to tlie Saints. Fixed and labori- 
ous in the cause of Christ & precious souls. Exemplary in visiting & 
sympathizing with his flock — Diligent in improving his Talents — A 
kind Husband and a tender Parent — a faithful Reprover — a constant 
Friend — & a true Patriot. 

Having ceased from his labors his xvorks follow Jiiin. 

Colonel Prescott remained in service until the 
end of the year 1776; and in the autumn of the 
following year he went as a volunteer with some 
of his former officers and townsmen to aid in the 
capture of General Burgoyne, which was his last 

prison, and, if belonging to Pepperell, was not recorded by his 
pastor, who may have died before him. 



military service. After the enjoyment of peace 
and his country's independence at the old home- 
stead, he died in 1795, at the age of sixty-nine 
years. In the old burying-ground at Pepperell, 
where rests the patriot preacher, and within the 
shadow of the old church, stands a plain tomb, 
built of four upright granite slabs, forming a 
square enclosure about three feet high, upon the 

Grave of Rev. Joseph Emerson, Pepperell 

top of which rest two horizontal tablets of slate- 
stone, bearing the following inscription^: — 




Who died on tlie 13th day of October. Anno Domini 1795, 
in the seventieth year of his age. 






Who died Oct. 19, a.d. 1821, Al. 89. 

The grave of Colonel Prescott is surrounded 
by those of his neighbors and friends. The flags 
floating from the bronze markers of the S. A. R. 
remind the visitor that, as in life, so in death the 
gallant colonel is in the midst of his soldiers. 


DIED OCT. 23, 1S05, ^. 79. 

In common with his neighbors, love of country was his ruling passion. 
He was ever ready to offer up his own life, and the lives of his sons, 
a sacrifice on the altar of liberty during the darkest period of the 



Who died March 5th, 1S04, 

Aged 70 years. 

He served his country in her contest for the obtainment of freedom and 
independence, and has since sustained with honor several important 
offices, both civil and military. He was no less endeared to his family 
and connections by his disposition to disseminate knowledge, pro- 
mote the social virtues, than to the community by his public spirit 
and charity. 



Who departed this life in the Continental army at Valley Forge, 
In the year 177S, in ye 17th year of his age. 
He was the son of Mr. Phineas Chamberlin, and Mrs. Lydia, his wife. 



DROWNED MAY 25, 1816, AGED 85, 

(He passed through the Battle of Bunker Hill in command of a company.) 




Daniel fell in the Battle of White Plains Oct. 28, 1776, aged 28 yrs. 

Joel was drowned at ye Eastward Oct. 9, 17S5, aged 20 yrs. 

Erected by the brethren. 

Died 1 8 19, aged 69. 

Died 1833, ae. ^t. 

Died Sept. 1847, je. 87. 

Died July 27, 1822, ae. 65. 



Who was slain in the memorable Battle on Bunker Hill, 

On the 17th of June, 1775, in ye 37th year of his age. 

On the same stone is read : — 




Who departed this life January 4th, 1775, in ye 3Sth year of her age. 

Note. — On the top, in the face of this moss-covered stone, is 
rudely carved the representation of a sword. To the present gen- 
eration this has lost its significance, but meant much to the family 
who erected this memorial, as is seen in the following family nar- 


" Fight on, brave boys, they fall like pigeons ! " 
were the last words of Joseph Spanieling, First 
Lientenant of Captain Asa Lawrence's company in 
the Battle of Bnnker Hill. When this brave son 
of Pepperell yielded up his life, the Provincials ex- 
pected to win the day. They had full confidence 
in their leader, Colonel William Prescott, and be- 
lieved that with him they were sure to come off 
victorious ; in fact, they were ready to die for him 
if need be. Tradition says that Lieutenant Spaul- 
ding, early in the battle of the 17th of June, volun- 
tarily took a position of danger in place of Colonel 
Prescott. \x\ order to fully estimate the patriotism 
of the yeomen soldiers of the opening Revolution, 
one needs to know something of the sacrifice made 
in order to leave their homes to enter the service 
of their country. With the opening of the year 
1775, Lieutenant Joseph Spaulding had seen the 
grave close over the lifeless form of his beloved 
wife, leaving him with the care of a young son 
and dauo'hter. It was when his hands and heart 
were full that the Lexington alarm was sounded 
through the town, and Lieutenant Spaulding was 
quick to respond. If he had retired from service 
after the experiences of April 19, no one would 
have thought of censuring him ; but the brave 
young man only returned to make provision for 
his children, and then rejoined his comrades in 
camp at Cambridge, where he was found when 
orders came to march over to Charlestown with 


intrenching-tools, etc., on the night of the i6th 
of June. Through the busy hours of that night, 
and on the following morning, his thoughts must 
have been divided between the motherless children 
at home in Pepperell, and the movements of the 
British army in and around Boston. But regard- 
less of the natural yearnings for the welfare of his 
children. Lieutenant Joseph Spaulding manfully 
faced the enemy ; and when he fell, it was with a 
word of encouragement upon his lips. '' They fall 
like pigeons ! " No words could have been more 
natural, or suggestive of the spring and fall game of 
those towns, and of the manner of capturing the 
great flocks of wild pigeons that made their semi- 
annual visits to the towns in Middlesex County. 
These were the last words uttered by Lieutenant 
Spaulding. They were meaningless when first re- 
ported to the orphans at Pepperell ; but as they 
advanced in years their full significance became 
apparent, and they have been transmitted from 
generation to generation with that spirit of pa- 
triotism which prompted their utterance in the 
hour of death in the redoubt on Bunker Hill. In 
addition to the message, there was brought to the 
home the sword taken from the dead soldier. 
This has been equally precious, and is now treas- 
ured as the Sword of Bunker Hill by a great-grand- 
son, Edgar Oliver Spaulding, at Plymouth, N.H. 

Says the owner : *' I am a son of Oliver Spaul- 
ding and Sarah Ann Hawkins of Rumney, N.H. 


My father was a son of Oliver Spaulding and 
Sarah Greenouoh and grandson of Lieutenant 
Joseph Spaulding." 

Says the proud owner of the sword, " My grand- 
father left Pepperell about the year 1787. Being 


M A S S A C H U S E T.T S-B A ^\ 

' E, r(*j»rj 15 •.!"; -Jii' Triifl tid Coi.uacnct. in vour O uragc aud fjfiod CoiniuCi, 

lattJ,"fcr !jc O-kr.ce of Cod Cui<-.jjy. 

kll to t^hervc an^ 
, rouvu'l froi-a the 

ommaadtt! rn <-^kv' vim . ^ c) 
•twral and C<iintcindfr jr Cljjcf of iLt; F91 

-rtiTrr., t, 

■ titi i ur; 

^n, orhef; 

P. T, 



Lieutenant Joseph Spaulding's Commission 

an orphan and so early removed from the town 
where his parents were best known, he did not 
have the record of family joys and sorrows, and 
could tell but little save the simple story, ' My 
mother died a few months before my father was 
killed at Bunker Hill, after which my sister and 
myself lived for a time at grandsir's.' " This story 



by the great-grandson of the hero of Bunker Hill 
is strengthened by the silent testimony of the 
stone at the grave of the wife of Lieutenant Jo- 
seph Spaulding. This rude memorial was erected 
by a provision made for that purpose in the last 
will of William Spaulding of Pepperell, father of 

the hero. The will, ad- 
mitted to probate Sept. 
29, 1770, directs that 
2:ravestones shall be 
put up to the mem- 
ory of his deceased 
wife, and to that of his 
son Joseph and wife. 
In addition to this, 
there appears in the 
old church record of 
deaths, in the hand- 
writing of the patriot 
preacher. Rev. Joseph 
Emerson, that which 
time has not effaced. 
The first entry of the year 1775 is the death of 
the wife of Joseph Spaulding, /E38, — nervous 
fever. The eleventh entry is Joseph Spaulding, 
^Z7^ — killed in ye battle at Charlestown. Being 
the oldest of the eight Pepperell men who per- 
ished at Bunker Hill, Lieutenant Spaulding's 
name is placed at the head of the list of patriot 

Bunki;r Hill 


The Spanieling sword, like many of the weapons 
carried by the minute-men on the 19th of April 
and 17th of June, dated back to the Colonial 
wars. It was owned by Major Rogers, a British 
officer in the French war. The owner acciden- 
tally dropped it into a lake, from whence it was 
recovered by Lieutenant Spaulding, who volun- 
tarily dived for it, and was successful in bringing 
it from the sandy bottom. But upon offering it to 
its owner, he was rewarded for his daring feat by 
the gift of the weapon. The young man carried 
it home to Pepperell as a trophy of the French 
war, naturally took it with him when next called 
to service, and used it as faithfully against the king 
as it had ever been used in the service of his 
Majesty in the hand of Major Rogers. 

"The God of Freedom hlessed the Sword of Bunker Hill." 




They helped to Hght the torch of Uberty's fires. A man who makes 
a sacrifice for his fatherland, be he never so lowly, his name should be 
forever written in the history of the nation. — Hon. John R. Murphy, 
JiDie 17, 1889. 



PAINe's "common sense." NO GOVERNMENT 




Besides the general narrative, the young pas- 
tor gathered much in the way of incidents from 
the older members of his parish, who, as they 
neared the threshold of eternity, seemed to live 
over again the experiences of their early years, 
particularly those of the war. ^ays Mr. Babbidge, 
"I sat by the bedside of an old soldier, one of 
my parishioners, about to depart this life. His 
thoughts, dwelling upon the future, led him to de- 
sire to discuss the works of Thomas Paine. There 
had been placed in his hand, while in camp, a 
pamphlet entitled "Common-Sense," written in a 


popular style by Paine. In this he advocated the 
cause of the American Colonies against the mother 
country. The success and influence of the publi- 
cation were extraordinary ; and it won the author 
the friendship of Washington, Franklin, and other 
distinguished leaders, as well as the confidence of 
the soldiers fighting for their independence. This 
Pepperell soldier had treasured the pamphlet, and 
naturally been led to study other works by the 
same author, and been greatly impressed by his 
infidel opinions, which seemed to be clouding the 
light of revelation as he was nearing his end. I 
was impressed by this experience with the fact 
that these old veterans had not only scars of 
body, but of mind, as the result of their early 
service in the war." 

Our country was in no condition to make the 
liberal provisions for the soldiers after the Revo- 
lution that it did after the Civil War, and not a 
few of them ended their lives in the almshouse. 
"This was the case in Pepperell," said the clergy- 
man; ''and I frequently visited old soldiers at that 
institution when in the discharge of my parochial 
duties, and there caught anew from the veterans 
the impulse of patriotism. They were old and 
worn-out men ; and no one could look upon them, 
and think what they had sacrificed and endured, 
and not be drawn to them very strongly. There 
was Moses Blood, 'an Israelite without guile,' and 
Jedediah Jewett, ' Uncle Jeddie,' as he was famil- 


iarly known, and Mr. Wright, all tenderly cared 
for in that most excellent home. Each had his 
peculiarities, and was allowed to indulge them. 
Their sayings are frequently quoted in the town 
to this day. The wit of one of them, Thomas 
Seward, seemed to sharpen with advancing age. 
Rev. Mr. Bullard, my predecessor, called at the 
almshouse, and there met the veteran. Desiring 
to know how many inmates there were, he said to 
Mr. Seward, ' How many here are supported by 
the town t ' The reply was, ' Two, sir ; myself 
and you, and being the older I put myself first.' 
This, to the minister, whose support was provided 
in town-meeting, in much the same manner as 
was that of the poor, was so well put that the 
pastor did not fail to report it." 

While the town of Pepperell has never been neg- 
lectful of the anniversary of April 19, and with 
the other towns in that locality duly appreciates 
it, their especial day of annual observance has 
been that of the 17th of June. As long as any 
of the old heroes lived, they were the central 
figure in the local celebration. A military spirit 
always prevailed in the town ; guns were fired in 
all parts on the 17th, a dinner was served, the 
Prescott Guards were on duty, and an oration was 
always delivered. 

"The military discipline throughout the State," 
said Mr. Babbidge, " if properly conducted, tends 
to cultivate obedience and good manners, and thus 


is conducive to proper life. Tliis was true in a 
large degree tliroughout the Commonwealth as 
long as the organization was kept up. When I 
was in Harvard College we had one of the finest 
companies in the State, consisting of the students. 
The State provided our arms, and we drilled for 
exhibition four times each year. , Robert C. Win- 
throp was our captain. While sitting here by my 
hearth-stone and looking backward, I can but at- 
tribute much of the success of the Northern army 
in the Civil War to the familiarity with arms which 
dates back to those days." 

Among the Pepperell men who served at Bunker 
Hill was Sergeant Edmund Bancroft, who is rep- 
resented there to-day in blood and name by his 
grandson, Edmund Bancroft. There is no more 
convincing evidence of the character and ability 
of the yeoman soldiery of 1775 than is found in 
this town, where one of their men, a sergeant, 
who fousiht at Bunker Hill, served the town later 
in the second and third Provincial Congresses. 
The home of the soldier and representative to 
Provincial Congress has disappeared ; but on the 
same acres is the home of his grandson, Edmund 
of to-day. This man repeats the familiar narra- 
tive as he received it, a fireside tale, confirming 
that of many others ; but he naturally introduces 
that later experience of the war in which the 
town had a most interesting share, the surrender 
of Burgoyne. Colonel Prescott, with other men of 


the town, were in that service when the Northern 
army surrendered.^ 

After the surrendered army arrived at Cam- 
bridge, several of Burgoyne's officers were sent 
out to Pepperell on parole. Two of them were 
boarded in the Bancroft family, and others were 
quartered in the, neighborhood. This provision 
was doubtless made through the influence of Mr. 
Bancroft. Says the present Edmund, "My father, 
who was Edmund second, was a boy in the family, 
and much in company with these prisoners. His 
recollection of the guests, as they went about wear- 
ing their side-arms, was very vivid ; and he fre- 
quently furnished the evening's entertainment for 
us children, as we sat about the open fire, by tell- 
ing the stories of those disappointed men who had 
been obliged to surrender. They provided their 
own support and had attendants, as was frequently 
the case with the British and German officers when 
in this country. These had dogs with them, called 
by the names of Barstow and Bisbee. Our boy 
nature was greatly aroused by the incidents in 
which these dogs played a part." It is claimed 
that these officers were permitted to meet at a 
certain place once a week for friendly conference, 
a monument having been erected to commemorate 
the tradition. The story by Mr. Bancroft, of quar- 
tering the officers in the remote towns, is strength- 
ened by the history of the times ; and Longfellow 

^ For narrative see subsequent chapter. 


gives US a glimpse of their dogs in "The Open 
Window," — 

" The large Newfoundland house-dog was standing by the door.'' 

Among the many family mementoes of the Ban- 
croft home proudly shown by the Edmund of to- 
day is the powder-horn carried by his grandfather 
in the fight. It is elaborately carved, and bears 
the initials " E. B.," with dates, etc. As evidence 
of an inheritance of the family military spirit on 
the part of the one who now bears the name, ap- 
pears the record of service of Edmund the third 
as major of a regiment of militia in which were 
the Lowell City Guards, when Benjamin F. Butler 
was a lieutenant, and learned military tactics of 
this officer. 

Neither the deaths at Bunker Hill, nor the loss 
of their patriotic minister in the cause of free- 
dom, deterred the men of the town from respond- 
ing to the successive calls for service and money. 
At first it was necessary that a man should be of 
full height, of age, and of good health, to '' pass 
muster ; " but there came a time when it was not so 
easy to keep the depleted ranks of the Continen- 
tal army full, and men were accepted although not 
recorded as "liable to do military duty." Boys 
were admitted who had prematurely reached the 
stature of manhood, although they had not attained 
the age of sixteen years. Edmund Blood of Pep- 
perell was found in the service when yet in his 


teens. He was but eleven years of age when the 
Lexington alarm called the people of Pepperell to 
action ; but fired with the spirit so generally per- 
vading the town, he anxiously waited the time 
when he, too, could enter the service, and seized 
the first opportunity, which was the call of June, 
1780. He is recorded as of light complexion, and 
"5 ft., 7 in." in stature. His service was at 
North River, New York. Having served out his 
time, he returned to his home in penury, — the 
condition to which a large share of the soldiers 
were reduced. In many instances they were dis- 
charged hundreds of miles from their homes, with 
no provision for the journey. They counted them- 
selves fortunate if they were not forced to make 
the journey on foot, with not even as much as a 
remnant of a shoe or stocking, thus destitute and 
weary coming back to the old home to share the 
burden of debt occasioned by the war. A most 
convincing proof of this general condition of dis- 
charged soldiers is found in the family home of 
Edmund Blood at Pepperell. A son of the young 
soldier, bearing his father's name and culivating 
his paternal acres, has a discharge paper, — his 
father's passport from Fishkill, N.Y., to Pepper- 
ell, Mass. 

Mr. Blood of to-day is but sixty years of age, yet 
is one of the few living children of a soldier of the 
Revolution who has had the tale of personal ex- 
perience from his father's lips. 


" I marched July 4, 1780, arrived at Springfield July 8, and 
went on to New York. 1 was in the Eighth Division, under 
Ebenezer Kent, and chiefly occupied in doing guard duty. 1 
frequently saw Washington, and early learned to admire his 
manly form, open, frank countenance, and uniform courtesy 
to all, regardless of rank. When we were discharged, Dec. 
5, 1780, each received a written certificate bearing the sig- 
nature of the Colonel. This was proof that we were not 
deserters, and also a recommendation to the charity of the 
farmers, whose aid we sorely needed. We had no money of 
any sort, and when we were finally paid off, it was in the 
worthless currency, which had nothing but bulk to commend 

Discharge of Edmund Blood 

This slip of paper, carried by Edmund Blood in 
his waistcoat pocket from Fishkill to Pepperell, has 
been kept in the home where the returned soldier 
put it, and is prima facie evidence of what many 
have accepted as doubtful tradition. 

It would seem as though this experience were 


enough to satisfy the young man's love of adven- 
ture, but Edmund Blood soon appears with twenty 
of his townsmen in the privateer service.^ A 
statement of his final settlement with Captain 
Manley, showing his share in prizes captured, is 

The Blood Homestead 

one of the family treasures at the Blood home- 
stead, from which comes the Pepperell spring 
water, now being shipped to the same State in 
which the young soldier did service for his coun- 

1 See Story of Privnteerint^ in this series. 



When we assumed the soldier, we did not lay aside the citizen. 

George Washington. 





Further research in the town of Pepperell 
brought me to the Williams home, where I was 
met by a busy farmer, Mr. Luther H. Williams, 
who carries on the farm which his father and 
grandfather conducted before him. 

" My grandfather, Isaac Parker," said the owner, 
''was one of Colonel Prescott's regiment. He 
was in Captain John Nutting's company, responded 
to the Lexington alarm, and was in the battle of 
June 17th. My grandparents frequently rehearsed 
the experiences of that time, in which this town 
had a creditable part. Grandmother, who lived 
to be ninety years of age, forgetting for the time 
the age of her grandchildren, would say to me, a 
restless boy to be amused, ' Do you remember the 
battles of Concord and Bunker Hill .? I do ; I re- 



member how the guns roared, for I heard them on 
the day of the battle at Charlestown, when so many 
of our folks were killed.' " 

My next halt was at the Parker home, where five 
generations of the name have made a record. The 
last are the children of Charles S. Parker, who now 
conducts the farm. The line running backward 


Old Parker Ploujh 

from the present owner is Allen S. Parker, his 
father, Thomas, his grandfather, and Nathaniel 
Parker, whose name is found among those who did 
valiant service on Bunker Hill. Says Mr. Parker, 
" My great-grandfather was ploughing in the field 
when the April alarm was sounded ; and he lost 
no time in preparation, but left his team, took his 
gun, and started. We have kept the old plough 
here on the farm as a reminder of that day, and 
also to show by way of contrast the progress that 


has been made in farm implements since the Par- 
kers first be2:an to cultivate these acres." The 
plough that belonged to the soldier ancestor was 
brought from its hiding-place ; and a picture was 
taken of it, together with the chain in use at the 
same time. 

A superficial student of the history of Pepperell 
cannot fail to be impressed with the consanguinity 
of its people from the earliest settlement to the 
present time. Shattuck and Blood have been pre- 
dominant names. They owned large tracts of land 
on both sides of the Nashua River, suffered greatly 
from the depredations of the Indians, and were 
well trained in warfare long before the Revolution. 
*' Few persons nowadays can have an accurate 
conception of the toil, suffering, and dangers en- 
dured by the early settlers of our frontier New 
England towns. The workmen as they went forth 
to their labors were not sure of returning again in 
safety to their homes, or, if they did, that they 
should find their loved ones alive. The toma- 
hawk, scalping-knife, and other deadly weapons, 
were in the hands of foes whose approach was 
often stealthy and when least expected." 

Two of the grandsons of the iirst William Shat- 
tuck settled in that part of Groton which became 
Pepperell. They were allied with the Bloods 
through marriage ; and so common were the two 
names, that it was said a stranger in the place was 
perfectly safe in addressing a citizen as Mr. Shat- 



tuck, and, if failing of recognition, turning to the 
name of Blood. '' Rev. Mr. Emerson is said to 
have remarked, that * he sometimes regretted that 
he did not marry a Shattuck, for he should then 
have been related to the whole town.' " The 
widow of the regretful minister's son Joseph, how- 


ever, made amends for the mistake by marrying 
Calvin Shattuck in iSii.^ 

The town furnishes no more favorable vantage- 
ground for tracing the footprints of the patriots 

1 The Bloods were of that family early found in Concord, Mass., 
to which reference has been made in " Beneath Old Roof Trees." 

THE si/ArrucKS 59 

in these families than the home of Colonel Samuel 
Pepperell Shattuck ; the beautiful house of the 
present day identifies that of John Shattuck, which 
was one of the garrison houses maintained as late 
as 1750. The owner was called " Canada John," 
because occupying the outpost between civiliza- 
tion in the Colony and Canada ; and doubtless the 
name distinguished the garrison-keeper from other 
John Shattucks. A large elm-tree now on the 
place is said to have sprung up through the stone 
chimney of the old garrison when gone to decay. 
Colonel Shattuck, the present occupant of this 
old estate, represents the younger branch of the 
original settler's family ; while Mrs. Shattuck, who 
was a Shattuck before marriage, represents the 
older branch. In company with Colonel and Mrs. 
Shattuck, both worthy descendants of a self-sacri- 
ficing ancestry who have left footprints on the 
sands of time, I gathered facts of peculiar inter- 
est. In driving through the centre of the town, 
Mrs. Shattuck proudly remarked that "here is 
where our grandmothers met and publicly burned 
their tea, thus following the example of the pa- 
triots of Charlestown, Providence, R.I., and other 
towns, when the king was trying to force them to 

The relations between the Pepperell minister 
and his people at the opening of the Revolution 
are brought vividly to mind when calling at the 
old Shattuck home, and listening to the family 


story from Augustus L. Shattuck : "My grand- 
father, Jonathan Shattuck, was a millwright. In 
company with his neighbors he started from home 
in response to the Lexington alarm, but was told 
by his far-seeing minister that his place was at 
home, because much of the supplies for the army 
depended upon the millers ; hence grandfather re- 
turned, hung up his gun, and went to work in the 
mill." It will be remembered that during the 
early months of the war the patriot army was sup- 
plied by contributions from the families. There 
consequently was but little uniformity in the ra- 
tions. One good woman of Pepperell, familiar with 
the Bible account of David taking ten cheeses into 
the camp of the Israelites,^ insisted upon sending 
a cheese of her make to her son in camp at Cam- 
bridge, by a neighbor, who was returning from the 
town after a furlough. 

In our drive about the town we came to the 
crossroads where it is alleged a Pepperell woman 
met her husband on that April morning, and deliv- 
ered to him his coat, with admonitions to make 
haste, for the Regulars are out. Passing a fertile 
field, I was told that "Jeremiah Shattuck was 
working here when he heard the alarm gun ; and 
he instantly left all, jumped the fence, joined the 
company, went to Cambridge, and gave up his life 
at Bunker Hill with other Pepperell men." 

There are but few houses in the town that have 

1 I Sam. xvii. 1 8. 


not undergone radical changes since the Revolu- 
tion, but there is one at the corner of Pepperell 
and Tovvnsend which remains much the same as 
when the roaring of the cannon on Bunker Hill 
was heard at its door. Joseph Warner was the 
first of the family on the place ; he took up his 
abode there in 1777, when his son Richard was 
eight years of age. Both completed their lives at 
this farm, and were followed by the present occu- 
pant, who is Walter Warner; he is eighty-six years 
old, and conducts the business of the farm after 
the plan followed by his father. Mr. Warner of 
to-day recalls with interest the story told him by 
his father, who, as a boy in the centre of Pepper- 
ell, watched the gathering of the minute-men and 
their hasty departure in martial manner on April 
19' 1775- The impression made on the youthful 
mind by the report that many of the townsmen 
had been killed at Bunker Hill, and more were 
wounded, was one that remained as long as life 
lasted ; and the oft-repeated story has found lodg- 
ment in the memory of Walter Warner. His nat- 
ural aversion to anything modern inclines him to 
derive the most complete satisfaction from the 
recollections of his youth. 

Our further drive about the town brought us to 
Jewett's Bridge, which spans the Nashua River. 
Colonel- Shattuck reminded us of the bravery 
of his patriotic grand-aunt, Mrs. David Wright, 
who with an associate, Mrs. Job Shattuck, posted 



themselves here, and arrested Captain Leonard 
Whiting, a noted Tory, the bearer of treasonable 
despatches from Canada to Boston (see *' Woman in 
the Revolution "). Passing down the river road, 
which winds gracefully through the town, follow- 
ing the course of the Nashua, we came to the 

place where an earlier 
patriot made a record 
that will endure as 
long as the history 
of the New England 
Colonies is read. It 
was at this place that 
John Chamberlain 
killed young Paugus, 
and saved his own 
life. While this story 
is of days that pre- 
ceded the Revolu- 
tion, the descendants 
of the hero were ac- 
tive in the war for 
independence, and are represented to-day in the 
town, one of my venerable guides, Mrs. Shattuck, 
being a grand-niece of John Chamberlain. 

Colonel Samuel P. Shattuck 


Condeiised froju published reports. 

John Chamberlain was one of Captain Love- 
well's company in the famous fight with the In- 



dians in 1725 near Fryeburg, Me. In the general 
engagement John's gun became foul, and he went 
to the edge of the pond to wash it out. While 
there he discovered Paugus, the chief, engaged in 
the same act. Chamberlain had personal acquaint- 
ance with Paugus, and they at once resolved to see 
who should be the 
survivor of the hour. 
" Now, Paugus," said "v ■ 

Chamberlain, ''I'll 
have you ; " and with 
the spirit of an old 
hunter sprang to 
loading his rifle. 
"Na — na, me have 
you," said Paugus ; 
and he handled his 
gun with a dexterity 
that made the bold 
heart of Chamber- 
lain beat quick, and 
he almost raised his 

eye to take his last look upon the sun. They 
rammed their cartridges, and each at the same 
instant cast his ramrod upon the sand. "I'll 
have you, Paugus,", repeated Chamberlain, as in 
his desperation he almost resolved to rush upon 
the savage with the breech of his rifle, lest he 
should receive his bullets before he could load. 
Paugus trembled as he applied his powder-horn to 

Mks. Samuel P. Shattuck 


the priming. Chamberlain heard the grains of his 
powder rattle lightly upon the leaves beneath his 
feet ; he struck his gun-breech violently upon the 
ground, the rifle "primed herself," he aimed, and 
his bullets whistled through the heart of Paugus. 
As the chief fell, the bullet from the mouth of his 
ascending rifle touched the hair upon the crown of 
Chamberlain, and passed off without avenging the 
death of its dreadful master. 

The children and successors of Paugus, long 
after this event, determined to avenge the death 
of the chief. They entertained the opinion that 
whoever should kill Chamberlain would be consid- 
ered the greatest chief of the nation ; and they 
made several attempts to do it, the last one having 
taken place at the Nashua River in Pepperell, 
where Chamberlain had a mill. 

In the year , towards the close of one of 

those fair days in autumn which make up the *' In- 
dian summer," a number of the villagers of Groton 
had gathered in their one-story tavern to talk over 
their little politics, as was their custom, when they 
were surprised and startled by the entrance of a 
voune: Indian amonir them. An Indian at that 
time was a rarity in the town. He was tall, over 
six feet, and finely formed, after the fashion of 
the forest. He had a belt of wampum around his 
waist, and from it hung his tomahawk. A long 
gun was in his hand ; and he stood in moccasins, 
with the grace and dignity of the son of a chief. 


He placed his gun behind the door, and silently 
took his seat by himself, A little before sunset 
the farmers left the inn, and returned to their 
homes. An old hunter remained with the land- 
lord and the young savage. The hunter eyed the 
Indian with keen attention ; his suspicions were 
aroused at the sight of this warrior, armed, so re- 
mote from the residence of the nearest tribe, and 
in a time of peace. He was acquainted with the 
Indians in the old wars ; and his suspicions were 
heightened and confirmed when he heard the 
young chief ask the landlord, in a low and indiffer- 
ent tone, if '' one Chamberlain dwelt in the vil- 
lage." The landlord pointed out to him the mill 
where the old man labored, and the cottage where 
he dwelt. The Indian took his gun, and went 
out. " Some of the blood of old Paugus," said 
the hunter, "and, I'll venture my life, come to 
avenge the death of that chief upon Chamberlain. 
I'll give the old man warning." He stepped out, 
and made haste to the mill where the old man 
was still at his toils, and made known his suspi- 
cions. Chamberlain's cheek turned ashy pale; and 
he sternly replied, "Tell young Paugus I have the 
gun that slew his father, and he had far better re- 
turn to his forest than molest me in my old age." 
As he spoke he pointed out the long gun as it 
hung upon prongs of the moose-horn, driven into 
the sawmill plate ; and near it was suspended the 
bullet-pouch and powder-horn of the same cam- 


paign. After giving his warning the hunter re- 
tired. Chamberlain took down his gun, tried his 
flint, charged it, took the pouch and horn and flung 
them upon his side, hung up near the saw-gate 
the old garment he had worn at work through the 
day, hoisted the gate of the mill and set the wheel 
in motion, looked keenly around him in every di- 
rection, and retired to an eminence a few rods dis- 
tant, crowned with a clump of thick bushes, and 
crouched down to await the approach of his mys- 
terious enemy. He was not, however, mysterious 
to Chamberlain. The old man remembered every 
trait in the Indian character, and calculated with 
great accuracy as to the time and manner of Pau- 
gus's advance. Just as it was growing too dusky 
to distinguish a human form, except towards the 
west, the old man descried him creeping cautiously 
from a bunch of bushes, eight or ten rods above 
the mill, by the torrent, with his cocked rifle be- 
fore him, and his hand upon the lock. The young 
savage heard the noise of the saw-frame, and could 
discern it in rapid motion, and shrunk back into 
the thicket. He came out again, a little distance 
from where he entered, and, with the wary motions 
of the ambush, reconnoitred the mill. Chamber- 
lain marking him all the while. Young Paugus 
came out of the bushes the third time, and in a 
new quarter, and was stealthily advancing when 
something seemed to catch his eye in the form of 
his father's sla}'er. He stopped short, brough,t his 


rifle to his eye, and with quick aim fired. The re- 
port rang sharp and low upon the still air, as if the 
gun itself were muffled, or afraid to speak above 
its breath. Young Paugus crept out upon a mill- 
log that extended over the rapid, and stretched 
himself up to his full height, as if to ascertain, 
without advancing, the success of his shot. The 
old man could spare him no longer. He saw 
the well-remembered form of the old chief, as the 
young savage stood against the western sky, which 
was still red with the rays of the sunken sun. He 
levelled the fatal gun; it blazed; young Paugus 
leaped into the air as the ball whistled through his 
heart, and his lifeless body fell far down into the 
rapid that foamed below him, while his vengeful 
spirit fled and mingled with that sterner one which 
parted long before at Lovewell's Pond. The next 
morning a bullet-hole through the centre of the old 
garment he had hung at the saw-frame admonished 
him that the aim, as well as the vengeance, of old 
Paugus had descended to his son. 

Standing near the spot where John Chamberlain 
killed young Paugus, the water of the same stream 
still coursing by, I could but hear in their gentle 
ripple, — 

"For men may come, and men may go, 
But I go on forever." 

The story of the narrow escape of John Chamber- 
lain from the avenging hand of young Paugus led 
to the display of some rude articles of domestic 



use, treasured by my guides in the home as me- 
mentoes of the time when their ancestor plied the 
craft of a miller in this town. Together with the 
small articles was brought forward the long chest, 
or magazine, kept previous to and during the Rev- 
olution in the upper loft of the meeting-house ; and 
in it were stored the town's supply of powder, balls, 
flints, etc. From it, doubtless, were filled the pow- 

Pepperell Magazine 

der-horns of the eighty-four men who went from 
the town with Colonel Prescott on April 19, 1775. 
Surely the ancient magazine has become the prop- 
erty of the right man ; for Colonel Samuel P. Shat- 
tuck is of himself the embodiment of military zeal, 
having served in the State militia from the rank of 
private to that of colonel in the Sixth Regiment. 
The names of the pioneers of the town were 
prominent during the Revolution and in later wars. 



There were nine Shattucks in Colonel Prescott's 
regiment from Pepperell, while Bloods and Cham- 
berlains were numerous. These and the other 
patriots of that town are still met in the form of 
their descendants on the same estates from which 
they made a hasty departure on April 19, 1775. On 
the lid of the maofazine is read the foUovvinir : — 

o o 

" Joseph Warner 
Returned his powder 

& Balls. Deken Blods sun reed 8 — o — 2 

Joseph Warner sun " o — 2 — 7 "' 

* '^ i 



Edmund H. N. Blood, Pepperell 








We call them savage, O. be just ! 

Their outraged feelings scan ; 

A voice comes forth, — 'tis from the dust, — 

The savage was a man ! 

Think ye he loved not.? Wiio stood by, 

And in his toils took part ? 

Woman was there to bless his eye. — 

The savage had a heart ! 

Think ye he prayed not ? When on high 

He heard the thunders roll, 

\Yhat bade him look beyond the sky ? 

The savage had a soul ! 

My researches in this part of Old Groton were 
under the direction of Mr. John E. L. Hazen, a 
lineal descendant of the heroes of the early wars 
and also of the Revolution. Two families promi- 
nent in the beginning of the record of Shirley 
were Longley and Hazen. They have continued 
in prominence and influence during the almost 
century and a half of the town's corporate exist- 



The romance of history appears in all its fasci- 
nation in the story of early members of the Long- 
ley family. We are fortunate in having the record 
from direct descendants, who cultivate the acres 
reclaimed by their ancestors when the musket was 
the yeoman's constant companion. William Long- 
ley, son of Richard of Lynn, located in Groton as 

Hazen Home, Shirley 

early as 1659. His wife Joanna was sister to 
Deputy Governor Thomas Goff, and with her hus- 
band shared the hardships of frontier life. The 
first William lived until King Philip had made his 
last desperate effort to exterminate the white set- 
tlers. William Longley, the second clerk of the 
town, suffered more severely at the hands of the 
Indians. It was in 1694 that several of the fam- 


ily fell victims to the savage hand of the lurking 

"The Indians, having lurked about the premises 
undiscovered the day previous to the slaughter 
watching a favorable opportunity to effect their 
purpose, early in the morning of the fatal day 
turned the cattle out of the barnyard into a corn- 
field, and lay in ambush. This trick had the 
desired effect to draw out some of the familv, 
probably Mr. Longley and his sons, unarmed, to 
drive the cattle from the corn. The Indians then 
rose upon them, and killed or captured the whole 
family. It is said, however, that Jemima, a daugh- 
ter of Mr. Longley whom they had tomahawked 
and scalped, was found alive, sitting upon a rock, 
and that she survived many years, married, and 
had children." Three who escaped the tomahawk 
were carried away into captivity. Betty died there 
of starvation. Lydia was sold to the French in 
Canada, and never returned to her people. It re- 
mained for John to perpetuate the name in this 
line of the family. He was about twelve years of 
age when his family was massacred, and himself 
carried into captivity by the savages. 

An interesting incident of the life of this boy is 
told by his descendants. Says Melvin W. Long- 
ley, '' My grandsire, John Longley, after going 
some distance from the old home with his captors, 
when they came to a halt told the Indians that 
his father's sheep were shut up in the barn, and 


would Starve unless they would permit him to go 
back and release them, and that having done this 
he would at once return to them. They allowed 
the boy to go, and he kept his promise. My 
ancestor pursued a wild life with his captors five 
years, when he was ransomed by the government. 
The romance of his captive state was not alto- 
gether averse to him, and it required some time to 
accustom himself to life in Groton after his return 
to his native town. He became a useful citizen, 
being clerk of the town for six years, and was 
thrice elected as representative to the General 
Court. He was a deacon of the church twenty- 
eight years." 

John Longley married Sarah Prescott, an aunt 
of Col. William Prescott, and subsequently married 
Deborah Houghton. 

It is apparent that the stronger characteristics 
of this family were perpetuated through succes- 
sive generations. Mr. Longley's three eldest sons 
manifested the greatest bravery and perseverance 
in overcoming all obstacles and establishing homes 
on a section of the original grant. William, the 
eldest of the three Shirley emigrants, settled in 
the south part of the town, and together with 
Samuel Hazen, the founder of the other pioneer 
family, set up the first grist-mill in the place. In 
my tour about Shirley I was early directed to the 
site of the mill, which is still of interest to the 
descendants of the first proprietors. The waters 



of the Catacunemaug still ripple through the mea- 
dows as when the 
early millers util- 
ized the pure 
stream ; and some 
of the primeval 
oaks shed their 
autumnal foliage 
upon the smooth, 
glassy surface as 
when William 
Longley turned 
out his grist a cen- 
tury and a half 

The influence of 
the hearth-stone 
narratives of the 
redeemed captive 
and father upon 
the Longley-Pres- 
cott children, and 
upon all who heard 
the familiar tales, 
may best be judged 
by tracing the acts 
of the patriots of 

Shirley Oak that tOWn. 

The Indian dep- 
redations had ceased before the incorporation of 


Shirley ; yet the French war, which terminated 
in the surrender of the Canadas to the English 
government, was still being waged, and the 
town's first human sacrifice in that struggle was 
Joseph Longley, who was wounded at Fort Wil- 
liam Henry, and died at Greenbush, N. Y., in 
1758. He was first selectman and town clerk. 
That spirit which prompted them to fight for the 
king impelled them to take up arms against him 
when such a course was needed to sustain the 
rights and liberties of the Colonies. The Stamp 
Act brought them to action. They held a town 
meeting October 18, 1765, and unanimously in- 
structed their representative, who was Abel Law- 
rence, Esq. : — 

" Is it a matter of wonder that every thinking person in the 
Colonies of North America is greatly alarmed by the late act 
of Parliament, called the Stamp Act, as it affects the state and 
liberty of every loyal subject of said Colonies? . . . We look 
upon said act as a burden, grievous, distressing and insup- 
portable ; not only likely to enslave the present but future 
generations. The great and heavy load lying upon us, oc- 
casioned by the late war, with its increasing interest, and all 
other incidental charges at home for the support of the gov- 
ernment, &c., have sunk us so low already that we are 
wholly unable to bear the duties imposed upon us by the 
stamp act, which, if it takes place, must and will immedi- 
ately prove our certain ruin. . . . We are far from saying 
or acting anything whereby we might be charged with dis- 
loyalty, as subjects to the best of kings, or that we have not 
a proper sense of the British Court, but we do think that 
our charter privileges, and natural rights, as the' free-born 


sons of Britain, are infringed upon by said stamp act. Our 
advice, instruction and direction, therefore, to you is, that 
upon all proper occasions you use and exercise your utmost 
endeavors, and strongest efiforts, in a modest, becoming and 
respectful manner, to prevent said act from taking place in 
the government ; and that you with a watchful eye, upon 
every occasion, diligently guard and protect the liberties of 
your country, to the utmost of your power, against all en- 
croachments and innovations. . . . 

By order of the Committee, 

John Longley." 

On January ii, 1/73, the people indorsed the 
act of the Committee of Correspondence in Bos- 
ton, saying, — 

" We are fully persuaded, if the Judges of the Superior 
Court of this Province have their salaries from the king, . . . 
that our liberties are greatly infringed thereby, and that we 
shall have no better chance for justice, no better security of 
life and property, than the people have in the most des- 
potic government under heaven.'" They further say " that 
our grateful acknowledgments are due to the inhabitants of 
the town of Boston, for their vigilance upon this and many 
other occasions of like nature. 

John Longley, Dis. Clerk.'''' 

The passage of the act on tea by the British 
Parliament brought out the people of Shirley in 
a series of resolutions, which bear the impress of 
decided patriots. They stand out upon the town 
book in bold hand. Art. I, is: — 

''Voted, that we will neither buy, nor sell, nor drink (nor 
suffer it to be drunk in any of our families) any tea that is 
subject to%n American duty."' 


The name of Obadiah Sawtell, anotlicr patriot, 
appears as district clerk at the conclusion of this 
series of resolutions. 

Thus far sympathy and acquiescence with the 
Boston patriots had only been shown by words, 
but the Port Bill brought out something more 
real. They held a town meeting on January i8, 
1775, and chose a committee to receive donations 
for the poor of Boston and Charlestown. The\" 
continued in sympathy with each progressive act 
of the people of the lower towns, and were ready 
to respond to the alarm of April 19, 1775. Every 
man old enough to bear arms, with the exception 
of seven, responded to the messenger, and made 
haste towards the scene of danger. Eighty names 
appear upon the roll of the Lexington alarm in 
command of Captain Henry Haskell, and thirty- 
five appear as serving for eight months during 
the siege under the command of Captain Robert 
Longley of Bolton. They were in the regiments 
of Colonels Whitcomb and Prescdtt. 

Some of the personal experiences of the soldiers 
of this town are told by their descendants on the 
old farms. 

Melvin W. Longley, already quoted, was met 
at his cheerful farmhouse, where were also two 
sisters of the same generation. Soon after the 
Revolution this house "was built by my great- 
grandfather, Joshua Longley, on a part of the 
original grant. My children represent the fifth 


generation who have gathered about the old 
hearth-stone, and the sixth who have trodden 
these acres, while three earlier generations have 
lived in this territory when it was included in 
original Groton." The first of these was William, 
the proprietor of the mill. 


William Longley the father, and William the 
son, were both millers. In order to distinguish 
the craftsmen, the good farmers of the locality, 
who brought their grist to be ground at the mill 
on the Catacunemaug, called the elder ''Old Will 
the Miller." No disrespect was implied; for the 
rugged yeomen looked upon Old Will as their 
great benefactor. He had been the first to set up 
that indispensable institution, a mill, thus reliev- 
inc: them of much of the burden of life. 

The Longley and Hazen mill was rude indeed, 
but in keeping with the dwellings of the farmers, 
made as they were from rough-hewn logs, and af- 
fording but little beyond the bare necessities. The 
farmers, young and old, delighted in listening to 
Old Will's recitals of his father's experience dur- 
ing the five years of his life in captivity. Wait- 
ing for grist was no hardship for them if Old Will, 
dressed in powdered apparel, was tending the 
stones. The elder William was a sufferer from 
rheumatism, and not in a mood for story-telling 


at all times ; but when he was at his best in de- 
scribing the life among the Indians, the farmer's 
boy was reluctant to leave. In fact, the fathers 
were known to tarry long after Old Will had taken 
his toll, and emptied a fresh sack into the hopper. 

These stories of savage warfare served a two- 
fold purpose. They amused the miller's patrons, 
and prevented their being impatient while wait- 
ing their turn, and also kindled a fire of patriot- 
ism in the minds of the farmers, which served them 
well when the time came for opposing the king. 

The news of the Stamp Act aroused the miller 
to a high state of indignation, and he declared 
his readiness to fight against all such oppression. 
The Port Bill reanimated his spirit of patriotism, 
and he dipped deep into his toll-bin for the aid of 
the poor of the distressed port. 

He had reached almost the allotted age of man 
when the Lexington alarm was sounded through 
the town. The exemption from service granted to 
millers was no excuse for him. The ardor of youth 
possessed his spirit when his sons, neighbors, and 
friends were hastening to and fro in preparation 
for the march. But his bowed and crippled form 
made it impossible for him to join the company; 
yet he insisted, saying, *' True, I cannot handle a 
musket, yet I will fight the redcoats with my two 
canes;" at the same time brandishing those for- 
midable weapons as though his words were not to 
be disregarded. He reluctantly remained at home 


with the few wlio were compelled to st:iy because 
of age or infirmity. But no citizen of the town 
evinced more genuine patriotism, watched the 
progress of the war with more interest, or mani- 
fested more joy when the yoke of oppression was 
thrown off, than did Old Will the miller. 

''Joshua, son of * Will the miller,' my great- 
grandfather, was among the eighty men who 
marched from this town on April 19, 1775," said 
the present occupant of the estate. " He remained 
in the camp until the 30th of the month, and later 
entered the service for eight months. He was in 
the battle of Bunker Hill, escaping with but little 
injury." At this point of the narrative a cannon- 
ball was brought forward which a family tradition 
says was fired from the British side, and when 
well-nigh spent carried away a portion of the skirt 
of Joshua Longley's coat. 

''My great-grandfather's trip to Concord on that 
eventful morning was not the first that he had 
made to that town. He had been over that fa- 
miliar route to Concord in quest of the young 
lady w^ho became his bride in March, 1770." She 
was Bridget Melvin, daughter of Eleazer and Mary 
(Farrar) Melvin, and had connection with noted 
families already described in " Beneath Old Roof 

»-T-> > > 

1 rees. 

Note. — Eleazer Melvin and his brother David served in that 
fight at Pigwacket in 1725, and were both in the expedition to 
Louisburg, and in later campaigns of the Colonial wars. 


A Melvin powder-horn, now in tlic possession 
of John E. L. Hazen, one of the Longley family 
connections, is a memorial of the Concord patriots 
as well as those of Shirley. 

Joshua Longley carried on the farm, besides 
acting as a miller and builder, until his death in 
1 8 14. A stone in the old burying-ground tells 
the following : — 


Born at Groton, Mass., July 23, 1751, 

Died at .Shirley, Nov. 7, 1814. 


Born at Concord, Mass., Dec. 9, 1751, 

Died at Shirley, Feb. 27, 1.S17. 

The ne.xt generation on this farm was Stephen, 
who was followed by his son, Stephen Melvin, who 
is succeeded by Melvin W. Longley ; and so it ap- 
pears that the grandsire's union with the Concord 
family is pleasantly remembered by perpetuating 
the name of the bride of Joshua, while the benefi- 
cent life of the patriot has not lost its effect upon 
succeeding generations. 

hi the southerly part of Shirley, not far from 
the original Longley-Hazen mill site, and on a 
portion of the territory first settled by Samuel 
Ilazen, I met a great-great-grandson of the pio- 
neer of Shirley, Mr. Thomas L. Hazen. He said, 
" My great-grandfather, Samuel Hazen, Jr., was at 
work on these acres when the alarm of the 19th 
of April reached him. He immediately left his 


plough, ran to the house, took his gun and powder- 
horn,^ and said to his wife (Ehzabeth Little), 
' Betty, you take care of the children and the cat- 
tle! I must go!' The family then consisted of 
five children, the eldest not ten years, and the 
youngest less than two months. He, with the 
others from this town, reached Acton about eleven 
o'clock, where they heard of the fight at Concord 
and of the retreat ; but they concluded to march 
on, and pursued the enemy to Cambridge. Sam- 
uel Hazen remained there thirteen days, and later 
joined the army, and was made captain of the 
Shirley company. 

On a stone at his grave is read : — 


Died May 6, 1815, 
aged 74 years, ii months. 

One of the old dwellings now standing in Shir- 
ley is that known as the Joseph Hazen House. 
It is a well-kept reminder of the days when the 
children and grandchildren of Samuel the patriot 
were taught beneath its roof the lessons of pa- 
triotism. Near by was the old Pound Hill school- 
house, where many a rustic youth was taught the 
rudiments of education under the supervision of 
Mr. Joseph Hazen, "the committee-man." Said 
Mr. Herman S. Hazen, " My father enjoyed a pe- 
culiar satisfaction in having employed for a win- 

^ Powder-liorn now in possession of Thomas L. Hazen. 



ter term a young man from Lunenburg, who has 
since acted well the part of a patriot." George 
S. Boutwell taught Pound Hill school from De- 
cember, 1834, to February, 1835. He passed his 

Shirley Schoolhouse. '-A ragged beggar simniiig " 

seventeenth birthday while teaching in Shirley. 
He received sixteen dollars a month and board. 
But four^ of the pupils are now living who recall 

1 The four pupils are Mr. and Mrs. Sullivan Davis of Pepperell, 
Mrs. Henry Edgarton of Shirley, and Charles Anderson of Minne- 
apolis, Minn. 



the erect figure and genial countenance of the 
young man who went in and out before the youth 
upwards of sixty years ago. The schoolhouse still 
remains "a ragged beggar sunning." 

The master's desk is gone ; but there may be 
seen — 

"The warping floor, the battered seats, 
The jack-knife's carved initial." 

A Battkkhij SkAr from Shirley Schoolhouse 

"The charcoal frescoes on its wall, 
Its door's worn sill betraying 
The feet that creeping slow to school 
Went storming out to playing ! " 

Among the minute-men of Shirley was James 
Dickerson, who heard the April alarm while in the 


field engaged in planting corn. He left his hoe, 
took his musket and powder-horn, and joined the 
company. His wife Priscilla^ took up the hoe, 
finished the planting, and carried on the labors of 
the farm until her husband's return. 

In passing through the southerly part of the 
town, I met Mr. Elihu Lon2:lev, who at fourscore 

Old Home, Shirlh\ 

years dwells on a portion of the original grant. 
At the well, dipping " the moss-covered bucket," I 
met Mr. Edward A. Jenkins, who is the fifth gen- 
eration on his farm. When gathering his children 

1 This Priscilla, born in Shirley, March 6, 1749, and wife of 
James Dickerson, was a daughter of Francis and Susanna Harris. 
Harris was one of the foremost men of the town. Eleven times 
selectman, also town clerk and treasurer. He was the delegate 
of the town in the first and second sessions of the Provincial 


and grandchildren about him, he boasts of seven 
generations who have drunk from the same w^ell. 
Mr. Jenkins recalls the face of his great-grand- 
father, Moses Jennerson, who was among the pa- 
triots of 1775. 

At the northerly part of the town I passed the 
farm where lived two patriots, Timothy Bolton and 
his brother William. The latter was a drummer 
in the Shirley company when it left the town on 
April 19, 1775. 

Near the Bolton home was the old tavern kept 
by Obadiah Sawtell. Here were lively times when 
the Shirley company gathered to discuss the ques- 
tions of those trying days. But " Flip and Toddy" 
never gave out as long as the company remained. 
Obadiah Sawtell, Jr., was one of the alarm band, 
and also in later service, to the credit of the town. 
This noted landlord was the town's first represen- 
tative to the General Court under the Constitu- 
tion, and a member of the convention that adopted 
the Constitution of the United States. 

In passing I made note of the home of John 
Dwiffht, who was wounded at the battle of White 

In the easterly part of the town lived Jonas 
Longley, the third son of John, the redeemed cap- 
tive. Although sixty-four years old at the open- 
ing of the Revolution, this old hero and his son 
Jonas shouldered their fowling-pieces, and marched 
to Cambridge on April 19, 1775. It is of interest 


to note that the present town clerk of Shirley is 
Jonas Longley, a great-grandson and namesake of 
the old veteran. 

In passing I was shown the homes of the Page 
family, from which went Jonas and Simon to the 
war ; of Samuel Walker, who lived almost a cen- 
tury, and told his story of the Resolution to four 
generations ; also that of Deacon Joseph Brown, 
who was in the ranks. 

At the southerly part of the town is the old brick 
house from which John Edgerton went to the ser- 
vice of his country, in company with Ivory Wilds, 
who later renounced the world, and became a 
member of the Society of Shakers. 

Among the treasured relics of the days of pecu- 
liar trial is a package of the Continental currency, 
shown by members of the Parker family, who are 
thus reminded of the service of their patriot ances- 
tor. Captain James Parker. 

Continuing the journey, I came to the old fam- 
ily seat of the Holdens, who have been numerous 
through the entire history of the town. Seven of 
the name were in the Shirley company on April 
19, 1775, five of whom enlisted for eight months, 
and were in service on the 17th of June. There 
was another of the family, John Holden, who made 
record during the war, although too young to be 
registered with the soldiers at the beginning. 







Among the sixteen children of Amos Holden 
was John, born on May 21, 1765. His name stands 
as the sixth in the register of the family Bible. Al- 
though but a babe in swaddling clothes when the 
Stamp Act aroused the Colonists to a realizing 
sense of the cloud of war gathering about them, 
the boy John Holden was fully aware of the duty 
of a patriot when the Lexington alarm summoned 
the men of Shirley to arms. Like David of old, the 
boy John Holden had been trained to tend sheep 
on his father's farm, and while in that quiet and 
retired service there had developed within him a 
talent for music. The fife was the popular musi- 
cal instrument in this boy John's day, as was the 
harp in the days of David, the son of Jesse. 
When John Holden learned to play the fife no one 
knew, in fact he could scarcely tell himself, unless 
it was on training-days, when he followed the mili- 
tia company about the town as they kept step to 


the music of the fife and drum in the hands of his 
well-known neighbors. 

Amos Holden found it difficult, with his large 
family, *' to make the ends meet;" but the long- 
ing for a fife which had grown to be little less than 
a passion in the boy John must be gratified, and 
the indulgent father procured one, and brought it 
home for a birthday present to the lad. The boy 
could hardly believe his own eyes, but lost no time 
in perfecting himself in its use. It was at the 
time when the whole country was in a state of 
ferment and dread. War seemed inevitable, and 
the oppressive rule of the English was the theme 
of conversation everywhere. 

Young John heard much of it, and longed to be 
a man that he might join the Shirley company of 
minute-men now holding semiweekly drills. One 
day he received a compliment which gave rise to 
aspirations not dreamed of by his parents. 

A Boston gentleman paid a visit to the Holdens 
at the old farmhouse, when the chief topic of con- 
versation was the prospect of war with the mother 
country. While the guest was present, Amos 
Holden asked his son to play a tune on his fife. 
The boy struck up with a stirring march, which 
elicited the exclamation of surprise, " The boy has 
the soul of music in him ; he will be ready to 
meet King George's army." 

John sat still for a while in a meditative man- 
ner; but before retiring for the night went shyly 


Up to his father, and said, " If the British do 
come, shall I go to the war with my fife ? " — *' Why, 
yes," replied the father laughingly ; *' they could 
not get along without you." 

These words, spoken by the father without a 
second thought, as are too many from parental 
lips, sank deep into the heart of the boy John. 
He revolved them over and over in his mind, as 
he applied himself to the use of his fife. When 
he was far away in the fields tending his father's 
flocks and herds, the stirring notes of the fife 
could be heard by the neighboring farmers, who 
predicted that the time was not far away when 
John Holden would be the fifer of the Shirley 

At length, on a delightful April morning of 
1775, an alarm was sounded over the hills of 
Shirley, "The Regulars are coming." It was not 
long before the men were on the march towards 
Concord. Amos Holden was among them. The 
boy John, with fife in hand, begged to go too, but 
was dissuaded from what he had believed to be his 
father's promise with the excuse, " You are too 
young ; wait a while, and if they don't get enough 
of it to-day, when we meet them, you may have 
a chance later." The time soon came when youth 
was no barrier, if the requisite stature had been at- 
tained ; and three of the sons of Amos Holden en- 
tered the army. John was one of them. Instead 
of a musket, this boy soldier carried his fife, and 


did a patriot's duty on the march, in the camp, and 
on the field. At times, when everything seemed , 
dark and doubtful about the company, the notes 
of John Holden's fife could be heard above the din 
of battle, and many a weary and homesick soldier 
took on new courage, and went forth to victory. 
For twenty long months the boy fifer was away 
in the service ; at first with Colonel Prescott, and 
later with Washington at New York, under the 
immediate command of General Knox. This lad, 
with a beardless face, dressed in a soldier's suit 
gay with brass buttons, was a favorite with the 
regiment. Said one of the officers, " This boy is 
a captain-general of us all. I have never known 
him to whimper or say ' I can't,' although he is 
the youngest of us." 

At the conclusion of his service in the war, 
John Holden returned to Shirley, and in 1791 
married Sally Sanderson of Lunenburg, and re- 
moved to Franklin, Vermont, where he was living 
in 1833, when he received a pension from the 
United States Government, which was continued 
to him until his death in 1847. He was classed 
as a private and musician, in the pension depart- 
ment. In the archives of the State of Massachu- 
setts, he is recorded as fifer. 


Another of the Holden family of Shirley, born 
four months after John, was Oliver, son of Nehe- 


miab. He was cousin to John the fifer, and like 
him endowed with rare musical talent. These 
boys were happy in each other's society in their 
humble homes, romping over the hills of Shirley, 
and trudging off to the little schoolhouse under 
the hill. But soon after the Revolution, Nehe- 
miah Holden and his family removed to Charles- 
town, where there was a demand for mechanics in 
the work of rebuilding the town destroyed by the 
minions of George III. Oliver labored as a house- 
wrig-ht with his father for a while, and then, fol- 
lovvino; his natural inclination, gave his attention 
to mercantile life. This afforded him a bet- 
ter opportunity for indulging his musical talent. 
While conducting trade, he composed tunes, 
taught singing-school, and published several vol- 
umes of choice hymns and tunes. Among his 
occasional odes was one for the reception tendered 
General George Washington when upon his third 
and last visit to Boston, in October, 1789. Oliver 
Holden trained a choir of young men for the oc- 
casion ; and when Washington passed under the 
triumphal arch at the Old State House, the choir 
sang to this ode the words, "George Washington, 
the hero, is come." 

But that which has immortalized this son and 
patriot of Shirley is the tune "Coronation." This 
was composed in 1793, soon became a favorite in 
the churches, and now, after more than a cen- 
tury, retains a prominent place in church psalm- 


ody. During the Civil War it became a battle 
hymn, and many a weary soldier on the march 
has quickened his pace by the inspiration of grand 
old " Coronation." 

The words have been traced to Rev, Edward 
Perronet, son of Vincent Perronet, vicar of Shore- 
ham, England. They we-re first sung to the tune 
of ''Miles Lane;" but the production of Oliver 
Holden was better adapted to them, as millions 
cheerfully testify to-day. 

On Old Burial Hill, Charlestown, where are yet 
to be seen scars made^ by the bullets of Gage's 
army, is the burial-place of this noted man. On a 

1 From a tal)Ic monument near the John Harvard obehsk: — 



Who SERVED his Country as Treasurer 

More than a Treble Prentiship & 

AS a Magistrate Sixteen Years, 

Who DEPARTED this Life 

the 14TH of May 1676. 

Bein(; the Sixty-fifth Year of his Age. 

A Saint, a Hushami, a faithful Brother 

A friend far excelled by any other 

A saint that walked high in cither -way 

Of Godliness and Honesty oil say. 

A husband rare to both his darling xvives 

A father politic, faithful and kind. 

" X. B. The ravages of time, and an accident during the siege of Bos- 
ton in 1775, having destroyed tlie monument erected at the decease of 
Mr. Russell, this being a true copy of the original was replaced by his 
Relatives, a.d. 1787, in testimony of their regard to his memory." 


bronze tablet placed in the brick wall of the family 
tomb may be read : — 



CoMrosER OK THE TV'NE " Coronation." 

Born in Shirley, Sept. iS, 1765, 

Died in Charlestown, Sept. 4, 1844. 

To his dear memory, this tablet is placed by his Granddaughter. i 

All hail the power of Jesus' 7iavie, 

Let aftgels p7-ostrate fall. 
Brmg forth the royal diadem. 

And crown liim Lord of all. 

It was when the storm-clouds of the Revolution 
were gathering that the people of Shirley went 
to work to build a meeting-house in place of the 
rude structure that had served them for a score of 
years as the only place for public convocation, 
religious, municipal, and military. On Thanks- 
giving Day of 1773 the voice of prayer was first 
heard in that house. It was the only occasion of 
the kind when "God save the King" from the 
pastor's lips met with an ''Amen" from the peo- 
ple. Before the next autumnal festival the port 
of Boston had been blockaded, and Shirley farmers 
had shared their crops with their distressed breth- 
ren in Boston. It was a custom of these towns 
to use the upper gallerv of the meeting-house as a 
magazine for military stores. The building usu- 
ally stood on or near the training field, was away 

^ Mrs. Fanny A. Tyler. 



LoNGLKY Ball, 


Bunker Hill 

\.. . 

Shirley Relics 




from other houses, and was entirely free from any 
means of heating, consequently was regarded as 
the safest place for powder. A portion of the 
upper gallery in the Shirley meeting-house was 
early set apart for this purpose. While the min- 
ister was urging resistance to British oppression, 
there was in the loft above the high pulpit the ma- 
terial to give emphasis to his instruction. In the 
hasty distribution of the cartridges to the minute- 
men, some dropped and rolled out of sight, and 
after a full century were found, and brought forth 
to the light, and are now treasured by my guide 
as reminders of those days of peculiar trial. 

The patriotic people of Shirley have for genera- 
tions derived a peculiar satisfaction from the gift 
of the pulpit Bible by Madam Lydia Hancock of 
Boston. This benevolent woman was the widow 
of the merchant, Thomas Hancock, and with his 
nephew John was enjoying the luxuries of the 
famous Hancock estate in Boston at the time of 
this gift. The occasion was the opening of the 
new meeting-house ; and Madam Lydia testified by 
this gift to the town her regard for her niece 
and namesake, Lydia Bowes of Bedford, who had 
but recently become the wife of the minister of 
Shirley, Rev. Pheneas Whitney. It will occur to 
the reader that a sister of Mrs. Whitney, Lucy 
Bowes, was the wife of Rev. Jonas Clark of Lex- 
ington, and that they were daughters of Rev. 
Nicholas Bowes of Bedford, and Lucy, daughter 


of Rev. John Hancock of Lexington. Hence they 
were cousins of John Hancock, the famous patriot. 
This family connection must have stimulated the 
patriotism in the town of Shirley. 


During the summer of 1775, when the Pro- 
vincial troops were in an unsettled condition, and 
the siege was progressing, the Provincial Con- 
gress made a demand for thirteen thousand coats 
for the use of the patriot army, to be ready before 
the cold weather. There were no shrewd millers to 
take the contract, and turn the public emergency 
to their personal advantage ; but at each hearth- 
stone there were set up a mill and a tailor's shop. 

The committee of supplies was directed to ap- 
portion the coats on the towns by a schedule, 
made in accordance with the last Provincial tax. 
This burden largely fell to the women, and follow- 
ing what they had sacrificed, was trying indeed; 
but with their characteristic zeal, they went to 
work to get the coats ready before the first day of 
October. The selectmen of each town were re- 
quired to cause a certificate to be sewed to the 
inside of each* coat, telling from what town it 
came, by whom the coat was made, and, if the cloth 
was manufactured in this country, by whom it was 
manufactured. Here was an opportunity for prov- 
ing personal ability, and the spirit of competition 
was rife throuohout the Province. 


Rolls of wool laid aside for family use were 

brought out, 
carded, spun, 
and woven un- 
der the same 
roof ; and while 
thegreat wheel 
was humming 
in one room, 
there was the 
continual prep- 
aration of food 
for the absent 
soldier boys. 
The coats were 
to be of *'good, 
plain cloth, 
preference to 
be given to 
that of home 
Having signed the protest against the use of for- 
eign manufactures, there was the greater struggle 
with each town to meet its demands from its own 
looms. The coats were to be ''made in the com- 
mon plain way, without lapels, short, and with 
small folds, and faced with the same kind of cloth 
of which they were made." They were to be 
" buttoned with pewter buttons, those of each 
regiment respectively to have buttons with the 

LoNcLEY Well. 


same number stamped upon the face of them." 
This course was to put into use a uniform, in 
place of the variety of garments in which the 
hastily improvised army were clothed. 

The committee of supplies in each town let out 
the contract to the different families, and in many 
a town's record book may be read the account of 
paying the different parties interested. The fact 
that these supplies were possibly for some of their 
own people may have urged the manufacturers 
to greater faithfulness, but we have no reason to 
think that any one would have slighted any part 
of this duty. The different towns reported what 
might be expected of them, and some of their re- 
ports may be seen to-day. Among them is that 
of the town of Shirley, which reads : — 

To the Gen^men, Committee of suplies appoynted by Con- 
gress, &c. To see to the Providing Clothing for the army. 
Geii^inen, — These are to Inform you that the Dis^ of Shir- 
ley have agreed to provide the Parte of Coats, Shirts, Stock- 
ins, and Britches to them Assigned, and thirty Pare of Shoes 
for the Benefitt of the Continentle army, &c. 
By order of the Selectmen. 

Obadiah Sawtell. Dis^. Clerk. 
Shirley, Atignst ye loth, A.D. 1775. 

Each man volunteering to serve for a term of 
eight months was promised a coat, and it was re- 
garded as quite a possession ; so much so that 
representatives of those who were killed at Bun- 
ker Hill, or who died before receiving the coat, 



were granted a certain sum of money in lieu of 
the coat, etc. 

The names of those enlisted for eight months, 
with the promise of the coat, are found on what is 
known as the " Coat Roll ;" while those who turned 
out on April 19 are recorded on what is known as 
"The Lexington Alarm List." 





" The kindly spot, the friendly town, where every one is known, 
And not a face in all the place but partly seems my own." 

HoLLis, after making a record for abo,ut seven 
years as the west parish of Dunstable, became a 
fully equipped town. It was chartered in April, 
1746, when Benning- Went worth was the governor 
of New Hampshire, 

In tracing the footprints of the patriots of Hol- 
lis, I was early impressed with the fact that I was 
considering the acts of descendants of the settlers 
of towns near Boston, and that the people of 
Hollis were bound by ties of blood and kinship 
with those of Concord, Littleton, Bedford, Marl- 
borough, Billerica, Reading, Salem, Woburn, and 
other towns of lower Middlesex and Essex Coun- 
ties from which they or their parents had mi- 

Having so many common interests of long stand- 
ing, it was natural enough for their military af- 



fairs to be somewhat united. This was particu- 
larly the case with the towns which formed the 
northern boundary of Middlesex County and their 
neighbors in the adjoining towns on the southern 
border of New Hampshire. The popularity of 
Colonel William Prescott was recognized in the 

John Colbukn 

towns of both colonies; family ties also inclined 
the soldiers of Hollis, N.H., to cast in their lot 
with the trusted Colonel's regiment. 

It mattered little whether in this or that town, 
in one Province or the other, the same motives ac- 
tuated the one people; and I invite my readers to 
turn with me to the hearth-stones of Hollis, where 


Still glows the fire of patriotism kindled by the 
pioneers of that locality. Age entitles Mr. John 
Colburn to the first hearing. 

Although in his ninety-seventh year, Mr. Col- 
burn has other qualifications for speaking of the 
patriots of Hollis. He was born there, and his 
parents were also natives of the town. Said the 
veteran, when met in his home, seated by his 
wife, who was also a nonagenarian, " We have 
both spent the greater part of our long lives near 
the place of our birth, and these beautiful hills 
and valleys are a delight to us." On his maternal 
side this veteran is descended from Eleazer Flao:fr, 
one of the earliest permanent settlers of that 
territory. Anticipating my call on his ninety- 
seventh birthday, Mr. Colburn prepared a care- 
fully written statement for me. Rising from his 
chair, and buttoning his Prince Albert coat about 
his stately figure, he passed into an adjoining 
room, and returned with his notes, saying, — 

"■ I have always avoided the pronoun ' I,' never 
seeking nor desirmg publicity ; but since you de- 
sire it, I presume I cannot more profitably spend 
these hours than in aidins: you in tracing^ out the 
footprints of the patriots, and in doing it I must 
sometimes speak of myself. 

'* I suppose to you who are young the story of 
the opening Revolution seems like ancient history ; 
but to me Concord, Lexington, and Bunker Hill 
are as much a reality as are Gettysburg or Bull 


Run and other battlefields of the Civil War, 
in which my son participated, and has often de- 

** While driving the oxen to plough the fields 
yonder, father used to tell me of his and his 
neighbors' experience in camp and battle ; and 
especially on or near the 19th of April, would 
rehearse the whole story, becoming so interested 
at times that he would stop the team in order to 
better illustrate positions. He and mother would 
devote whole winter evenings to talks about those 
days. It was a delight to us children — for I was 
one of thirteen for whom my parents toiled and 
sacrificed. Mother, who was a Hardy (Lemuel's 
daughter), could help along the stories ; for her 
folks were in it as well as the Colburns. With a 
good blazing fire on the hearth, and a plenty of 
four-foot wood at hand to replenish it, a dish of 
good apples, some butternuts, and a mug of cider, 
what cared we for the driving snow .^ We drew 
up to the fire in a group, some on the settle and 
some in the chimney-corner. To be sure, there 
would occasionally come a contrary blast down 
the chimney, and fill our eyes with smoke and 
ashes ; but it was soon over, and we children were 
calling for more story. To make it more vivid, 
father would pause at times, and say, 'Now ima- 
gine that north-east blast against the window to be 
a volley of bullets from the redcoats ; ' at which 
we would hide the closer behind the hijih back of 


the settle, or snuggle more securely in the arms 
that were ever ready for some of us. My father 
was too young to have any part in the town meet- 
ings just before the war; but he knew what was 
going on, and was anxious to be in the company 
when they were drilling for an emergency. 

" On November 7th the people took action at 
the polls, and chose three of their leading men 
to represent them in the County Congress on the 
following day at Amherst. They made record as 
follows : ' We, the inhabitants of the town of 
Hollis, having taken into our most serious consid- 
eration the precarious and most alarming affairs of 
our land at the present day, do firmly enter into 
the followins; resolutions : — 

*" That we will at all times endeavor to maintain 
our liberty and privileges, both civil and sacred, 
even at the risque of our lives and fortunes, and 
will not only disapprove, but wholly despise all 
such persons as we have just and solid reason to 
think even wish us in any measure to be deprived 
of them.' Deacon Stephen Jewett, Ensign Stephen 
Ames, and Lieutenant Reuben Dow, equipped with 
such authority, were sent to Amherst. 

*' In the very last of December they chose a dele- 
gate to meet in a Province convention to consider 
a Continental Congress. It was John Hale, Esq., 
who had this honor. 

''They also voted 'that we do cordially accede 
to the just statement of the rights and grievances 


of the British Colonies, and the measures adopted 
and recommended by the Continental Cong;ress 
for the restoration and establishment of the former, 
and for the redress of the latter.' Three deacons 
with others were constituted a committee to ob- 
serve the conduct of all persons touching the asso- 
ciation agreement. 

The town of Hollis has in its archives three ori- 
ginal rolls of military companies. Two of them 
were made out in January, 1775, and the third on 
June 7. The rolls were named respectively, " A 
List of the Company of Militia in Holies under 
the command of Capt. Joshua Wright," '' Alarm 
List," and *'The List of the present Militia Com- 
pany of Holies, Exclusive of the Minute-men and 
all that have gone into the army, June ye 7th, 
1775." These companies appear to have con- 
tained all the able-bodied men of the town. They 
held frequent meetings, and in every way kept 
pace with their neighbors across the line in 
Massachusetts. On April 3 they chose Deacon 
Stephen Jewett and Deacon Enoch Noyes as del- 
egates to the County Congress, and "to see what 
method should be taken to raise money for the 
Continental Congress at Philadelphia." " Thus 
■far it had been only drilling and voting ; but soon 
there came something more exciting," said Mr. 
Colburn's father, "and Governor Wentworth, down 
at Portsmouth, found that we were in earnest. The 
alarm did not reach us on April 19th until it was 


too late to be of any service on that clay, but 
our ninety-two minute-men made a record later 
that compares favorably with the Massachusetts 

Mr. John Colburn's repetition of his father's 
fireside story was concluded by his description of 
Bunker Hill, where in his youth he visited the 
earthworks thrown up on that June night of 1775. 
Said he, " They had not begun to talk of a monu- 
ment, and everything was in a very rough condi- 
tion. I walked over that redoubt, and identified 
the locations just as my father had described them 
to me, where he, with so many Hollis men, faced 
the enemy in the heat of the battle, where a num- 
ber of them gave up their lives." 

Seated by the side of Mr. Colburn during his 
birthday recital was his faithful wife, who was 
ninety-one years of age, and a life-long resident 
of the town. She was Naomi Boynton, grand- 
daughter of Deacon John Boynton and Ruth 
Jewett. This interesting woman was not only an 
intelligent listener, but a most helpful prompter, 
and in her turn modestly said, ** It was my grand- 
father. Deacon John Boynton, who first received 
the April morning message, and spread it through 
the town." These words of Mrs. Colburn, mod- 
estly dropped, resulted in my retracing the steps 
of the messenger of 1775, in company with Mr. 
Cyrus F. Burge, and in gathering the facts as we 
made our way. Beginning at Runnell's bridge, 


we first came to the land where were recalled the 
homes of Ebenezer and Thomas Jaquith, who re- 
sponded to the urgent call of General Sullivan on 
November 30, 1775. It was through the special 
efforts of Colonel Samuel Hobart, paymaster of 
the New Hampshire troops, that the large num- 
ber rallied in Hillsborough County, and responded 
at Cambridge. Colonel Hobart had been in the 
king's legislature, was also recorder and treasurer 
of his county at this time, and was a manufacturer 
of gunpowder in the Province of New Hampshire. 

We next came to the home of William J. Rock- 
wood, grandson of Dr. Ebenezer Rockwood, who 
served in Thatcher's regiment. The one thing in 
his possession to-day reminding of his grandsire's 
patriotic service is his commission as surgeon 
from the Massachusetts Bay Colony. In passing 
remarked my guide, " Near these trees lived 
Isaac Stearns, who served the town in the French 
war, and was one of the minute-men of Hollis to 
respond to Deacon Boynton's alarm. He also 
served in the Continental Army, and after the war 
migrated to Plymouth, N.H." 

Forty rods away lived Ebenezer Cummings, son 
of Deacon William. He went into the war, and 
died of the smallpox in 1778. 

This dreaded scourge brought sorrow to the 
town through the instrumentality of a woman who 
was a Tory of the most bitter nature. It is alleged 
that she spread infected clothing through the fam- 


ilies, and thus caused the death of ten of the in- 
nocent citizens. Among the victims were Daniel 
Mooar and daughter, Edward Johnson and infant 

Halting at the home of Andrew Jewett, we 
were saluted by a grandson of Ebenezer Jewett, 
who was in service at Bunker Hill. Said An- 
drew, '* My grandfather's gun gave out before the 
powder failed, and he did the best he could by 
hurling stones at the British soldiers. He fre- 
quently entertained the young people in times of 
peace by describing his rough and tumble expe- 
rience at Bunker Hill. Grandfather brought home 
from the war a negro man, Pompey, who lived in 
the family many years on this farm, which was in 
part my grandfather's.' 

In passing through a part of the town, we noted 
the hill on which the alarm-gun was fired in order 
to arouse other families, who lived farther away. 
Three important minute-men. Lieutenant John 
Goss, Captain Reuben Dow,^ and Deacon Boyn- 
ton, lived near the State line in this locality. We 
drew rein at the Boynton home, and there heard 
from the lips of the present occupant facts of in- 

1 Captain Dow was with his sons, ploughing in the field, when 
the alarm reached them. The father, with two sons, Evan and 
Stephen, made haste to the Centre, or place of rendezvous, while 
Daniel, but six years of age, was left to care for the oxen, with 
the aid of his mother and sisters. 


In the hasty preparations for marching, the 
families contributed such food as they had. The 
salt-pork barrel, partially full, was brought out of 
the cellar ; and the strips of pork were divided 
between the minute-men who assembled here at 
the home of their captain. This Dow farm is 
one of the many of Hollis that has been retained 
in the family of the patriot who went from the 
same door on that eventful morning. The line of 
descent has been : Reuben, Stephen, Jeremiah 
Dow ; the latter's daughter, who married John C. 
Bell ; succeeded by Charles Dow Bell, whose son, 
Charles J. Bell, is now the thrifty farmer, and 
is surrounded by an interesting family. Thus 
seven generations have enjoyed these scenes ; the 
last not failing to be duly impressed with the part 
taken by the first. Captain Reuben Dow, in the 
struggle for liberty. 

Standing on the well-worn door-stone, I saw 
in the distance the Colburn home, where I took 
my first lesson in New Hampshire patriotism. 
Nearer by we halted at the well from which the 
Goss family drew their supply. To the west from 
Captain Dow's home lived Amos Eastman, and 
we made haste to that old family site. Here 
Amos Eastman was well established when he 
went as the captain of a company under General 
John Stark into the French war. He and his 
son Amos manufactured guns at this place for 
the patriots ; and a gun of their make was used as 


the alarm-gun at Hollis Common later in the war, 
an alarm being three guns fired in rapid succes- 

Indisputable evidence of this branch of industry 
is found in State papers. 

Wednesday, January 24th, 1776. 
Voted, that the balance of the account of Amos Eastman 
for guns, amounting to thirty-two pounds, sixteen shillings, 
be allowed and paid out of the Treasury, and that the Presi- 
dent of the Council give orders on the Treasury for payment 
thereof. Sent up by Mr. Clough. — N. H. State Papers, 
vol. viii., p. 56. 

Note. — In the year 1752 Amos Eastman, Senior, then living 
at Penacook, being on a hunting expedition in the northerly part 
of New Hampshire with General John Stark and others, was, with 
Stark, taken prisoner by the Indians, and both of them taken to an 
Indian village in Canada. On their arrival at the village, both the 
captives were compelled to run the gantlet between two files of 
savages, each armed with a switch or club with which to strike 
them as they passed between the lines. Stark, as is said, escaped 
with but slight injury; but Eastman was cruelly beaten, and was 
afterwards sold to a French master, kindly treated by him, and 
soon after redeemed, and went home. 

The Eastman family possession has been in the 
male line from Amos to son Amos, then Alpheus 
to son Oliver Perry Eastman, who now tills the 
paternal acres. He is aided by another genera- 
tion, who cherishes the family record at this old 

Continuing on our route towards the centre of 


Hollis, we came to the Worcester home. No 
school-child who has turned from his task to Wor- 
cester's Dictionary for help can fail of having an 
interest in the estate, from which went out gen- 
erations of noble men and women to bless the 
world, prominent among whom was the lexicog- 








The Worcester home is a little south of the 
centre of Hollis, and has been in the family pos- 
session since the year 1750. 

The pioneer of the family in this country was 
Rev. William Worcester, who came from Salis- 
bury, England, and became the minister at Mer- 
rimack, later called Colchester, and permanently 
named Salisbury. Although in a rude log meet- 
ing-house, the settlers were in favor of order, and 
voted, "■ Every freeman when speaking in meeting 
shall take off his hat, and rise when speaking, 
and put it on when done." The pioneer died at 
Salisbury in 1662. We next find the family at 
Sandwich, Mass., where Rev. Francis Worcester, 
great-grandson of the Rev. William, was born. 


He married Abigail Carleton, and there kept the 
family record good until 1750, when he moved 
with his large family to Hollis, and so became the 
founder of the noted family in that town. 

The house to which Rev. Francis Worcester 
took his family was small, but through various 
additions has become a very large dwelling, yet 
none too large for some of the generations which 
have flourished there. Attracted by the family 
record elsewhere to this old and well-kept house, 
I received a cordial welcome from the present oc- 
cupant, Miss Lucy E. Worcester, who is of the 
fifth generation at that home, and of the eighth 
in this country. 

Said Miss Worcester, " It was Captain Noah, 
my great-grandfather, who was the man of affairs 
here when the war broke out. He was then forty 
years of age, was ensign of a company of mili- 
tia, town clerk, committee of observation, and in 
other positions of trust. Having been active in all 
the town's meetings during the agitation, Noah 
Worcester was not altogether surprised when the 
outbreak came. It was about noon on the 19th of 
April when Deacon John Boynton, one of the com- 
mittee of observation, and who lived in the south 
part of the town, came riding through the streets 
of Hollis at the top of his horse's speed, calling to 
every one as he passed, 'The Regulars are com- 
ing, and are killing our men.' He drew rein at 
the door of Captain Worcester, who was chairman 


of the Committee of Safety. Captain Noah, my 
great-grandfather, had just finished dinner, and 
was standing before his looking-glass, with face 
well lathered, in the act of shaving. Without 
stopping to finish his toilet, but with one side of 
his face still whitened for the razor, he hurried to 
the stable, mounted his horse, and in that plight 
assisted in spreading the alarm. Other messen- 
gers were despatched to different parts of the 
town ; and in the afternoon of that day ninety- 
two men met on Hollis Common with muskets 
and powder-horns, each man furnished with one 
pound of powder and twenty bullets." 

The Hollis company made choice that after- 
noon of Reuben Dow as captain, John Goss, first 
lieutenant, and John Cumings, second lieutenant. 
They marched off toward Concord, and went into 
camp at Cambridge. A part of them volunteered 
for eight months. The minute-men of Hollis who 
continued in service after the Lexington alarm 
went into other companies, and were mustered 
into the Massachusetts regiment commanded by 
Colonel Prescott, whose family seat, as we have 
seen, was very near Hollis, and who was con- 
nected with families of that town, his wife being 
Abigail Hale of Hollis, a sister of Colonel John 

" Another patriot who turned out from this 
home on the 19th was my great-uncle, Noah Wor- 
cester, Jr., who was but sixteen years of age. He 


went as fifer. Captain Noah, who had his title as 
a member of the State Militia, was town clerk at 
this time, and we are indebted to his faithfulness 
for many facts. 

We find that the first town meeting after the 
experience of April 19 was on the 23d inst. Col- 
onel John Wentworth sent out a letter to each 
town on the day after the Lexington alarm. That 
sent to Hollis is recorded in Noah Worcester's 
handwriting, and is as follows: — 

Gentle?nen, — This moment melancholy intelligence has 
been received of hostilities being commenced between the 
troops under the command of General Gage, and our breth- 
ren of the Massachusetts Bay. The importance of our exert- 
ing ourselves at this critical moment has caused the provincial 
committee to meet at Exeter, and you are requested in- 
stantly to choose and hasten forward a delegate or delegates 
to join the Committee, and aid them in consulting measures 

necessary for our safety. 

^ J. Wentworth. 

/;/ behalf of the Co7nviittee of Safety. 

Province of New Hampshire 
Hillsborough County, SS. 

Special Town Meeting. 

April ii^ 1775- 
Pursuant to the above notice and request, the inhabitants 
of the town of Hollis being met unanimously voted, that 
Samuel Hobart, Esq., be and hereby is appointed to repre- 
sent the town at Exeter, with other delegates, that are or 
shall be appointed by the several towns of this Province, for 
the purpose above mentioned. 

Noah Worcester, Towti Clerk. 


To any one who studies the records of Hollis, 
kept by the patriot clerk Noah Worcester, it 
must be apparent that everything was done with 
system, and that their response on the 19th was 
serious and deliberate. The special town meeting 
of the twenty-eighth shows us that while in gov- 
ernmental affairs they were obliged to work with 
the Province of New Hampshire, their afifilia- 
tions were with the patriots of Massachusetts. 
Noah Worcester records : — 

Special Meeting. 

April 2^, 1775. 
Colonel John Hale, Moderator. 

At a meeting of the town of Holies called on a sudden 
emergency in the day of our public distress. 

1st. Voted, that we will pay two commissioned officers, 
four non-commissioned officers, and thirty-four rank and file, 
making in the whole forty good and able men, to join the 
army in Cambridge, paying said officers and men, the same 
wages the Massachusetts men receive, and will also victual 
the same till such time as the resolution of the General Court 
or the Congress of the Province of New Hampshire shall be 
known respecting the raising of a standing army the ensuing 

They also made arrangements at this meeting 
for providing for poor families of those patriots 
who were in camp at Cambridge, and that the 
grain raised for the poor of Boston be divided 
between the army and the needy families of the 

These records show that '' Province of New 


Hampshire " was used in all warrants for town 
meetings until after the battle of Bunker Hill, 
from that time till July 4, 1776, the word "Colony" 
was used, and after the Declaration of Indepen- 
dence the word *' State " took the place. Men 
absent in the army were allowed to have a written 
vote in town affairs, which was counted the same 
as if the men were present in person. 

"The most trying experience of the men of our 
town did not come until the 17th of June, when 
we had our share in good measure. Most of our 
men were with Colonel Prescott, but a few were 
with Colonel Reed ; and all were present at the 
battle of Bunker Hill, which sent sorrow to the 
homes of Hollis as to no other town in the Prov- 
ince. The loss of Hollis in killed was fully equal 
to two-fifths of the killed and missing in the two 
New Hampshire regiments, and greater than that 
of any other town of New Hampshire. 

The list recorded on the memorial tablets ^ at 
Charlestown is as follows : — 

prescott's regiment. 

Dow''s company. — Sergt. Nathan Blood, Phineas Nev- 
ers,'^ Thomas Wheat, Jr., Peter Poor, Isaac Hobart, Jacob 

Moors" s company. — Ebenezer Youngman. 

These names are among the list on Soldiers 
Monument at Hollis. 

1 Thomas Colburn, credited to Dunstable, is claimed by Hollis. 

2 The family spelling is Nevens. 

Bunker Hill Monument 


The wounded were Captain Reuben Dow, 
Ephraim Blood, Francis Blood, Francis Powers, 
Thomas Pratt, William Wood. Caleb Eastman 
was killed at Cambridge two days after the battle 
by the bursting of his gun. James Fisk and Jere- 
miah Shattuck died of sickness at the Cambridge 
camp before the battle. 

The Hollis patriots furnished all their own 
equipments, and also their clothes, as did the 
soldiers generally during the first year of the war. 
Many articles were lost on the 17th of June, and 
subsequently each person filed a list with their 
estimated value. It is headed as follows : — 

Cambridge, Dec. 22, 1775. 

This may certify that we, the subscribers, in Capt. Reuben 

Dovv's company, in Col. William Prescott's regiment, in 

the Continental army, that we lost the following articles, in 

the late engagement on Bunker Hill on the 17th of June last. 

The one meeting with the greatest loss was 
Nahum Powers : — 

"I knaps'k \s. d^d., i tump'e \s. 2d., hat 3i-., jacket 8j-., 
bayonet 6i'.'" 

Noah Worcester, Jr., was one of the losers : — 

"Knapsack is. Sd., i tumline^ li". 2d.^' 

1 "A tump-line was a strap to be placed across the forehead, to 
assist a man in carrying a pack on his back." — ]Vorcester''s 
Quarto Dictionaiy . 


The inventory of lost articles perpetuates the 
names of twenty-eight men of Hollis who were 
in the battle of Bunker Hill, besides the commis- 
sioned officers. Another paper, in the handwrit- 
ing of Captain Dow, shows the loss of equipments 
of the six men of Hollis belonging to his com- 
pany killed in the battle. 

Cambridge, Dec. 22, 1775. 

Nathan Blood, Isaac Hobart, Jacob Boynton, 
Thomas Wheat, Peter Poor, Phineas Nevins. 

The men whose names are above written belonged to 
Capt. Dow's company and Col. William Prescott's regiment, 
and were all killed at Bunker Hill on the 17th of June last, 
and were furnished each of them with a good gun, judged to 
be worth Eight Dollars a piece — also were furnished with 
other materials, viz., Cartridge Boxes, Knapsacks, and Tump- 
lines, and were well clothed for soldiers. Also had each of 
them a good blanket. Nathan Blood had a good Hanger. 

Eight Hollis soldiers, who were in Colonel 
Reed's regiment and m service on that day, lost 
various articles. Phineas Hardy lost ; " i blanket, 
coat, shirt, breeches." As Hardy's loss must have 
been his extra clothing, it appears that the good 
people of Hollis saw that their soldier boys in 
camp at Cambridge were well clothed. 

Our men fought in their shirt-sleeves ; the heat 
of the day caused them to throw aside their coats 
as when in the hayfield. This accounts for the 
loss of so many coats and other garments. 


The Hollis patriots who served to the credit 
of Massachusetts had a share in the bounty of a 
military coat. A receipt signed by forty-seven 
men is their acknowledgment of the bounty. The 
heirs or widows of the deceased soldiers received 
an equivalent for the coats. In some cases it de- 
volved upon the selectmen to decide who was the 
person legally entitled to the pay, as the following 
voucher shows : — 

We Hereby Certify that the widow Experience Shat- 
tuck is the proper person to receive the clothing belonging 
to Jeremiah Shattuck who belonged to Capt. Reuben Dow's 
company in Col. Wm. Prescott's regiment and is dead. 
Noah Worcester, ^ 
Jacob Jewett, V Selectmen. 

Oliver Lawrence, ) 

The selectmen also certify that Captain Dow is the person 
to receive the clothing due to Peter Poor, a transient person, 
who belonged to the Hollis company, an,d was killed at 
Bunker Hill. 

It was when Hollis's cup of sorrow was brimful 
that an urgent call was made for more men. It 
came from General Sullivan, then in command 
of the Continental troops at Winter Hill, to the 
New Hampshire Committee of Safety, and reads 
as follows : — 

Winter Hill, iYov. 30, 1775. 

Sirs, — Gen. Washington has sent to New Hampshire 
for thirty-one companies to take possession of and defend 
our lines in room of the Connecticut forces who most scanda- 


lously refuse to tarry till the ist of January. I must there- 
fore entreat your utmost exertions to forward the raising 
those companies, lest the enemy should take advantage of 
their absence and force our lines. As the Connecticut forces 
will at all events leave us at or before the loth of next month, 
pray call upon every true friend of his country to assist with 
heart and hand in sending forward these companies as soon 
as possible. 

Sirs, I am in extreme haste, 

Your Obt. Serv't., 

John Sullivan. 
To the Committee of Safety at Exeter. 

The demand was met, and two thousand New 
Hampshire patriots were soon in service, remain- 
ing till the following March, when the British 
evacuated Boston. Miss Worcester continued her 
story : — 

" Two-thirds of the Twenty-sixth Company vol- 
unteered from Hollis ; and my great-grandfather, 
Noah Worcester, was captain, going from this 
house, leaving the cares of a large family to be 
shared between his wife and aged father. The 
young men were so fired with patriotism that they 
were anxious to enter the service before they were 
liable to do military duty, and so great was the 
need that many of them were accepted before they 
were sixteen years of age. My grandfather, Jesse 
Worcester, was scarcely fifteen when he entered 
the service; as he was too short, he put pebbles in 
his shoes for fear he would not pass muster." 

This boy soldier was one of twenty-five who 



went on a six-months' campaign to the northward. 
Daniel* Emerson, Jr., was captain of the company. 
In different campaigns to the end of the war 
these patriots from Hollis were found doing faith- 
ful service. It is worth our while to pause at the 
Worcester hearth-stone, and consider the charac- 
ter of the patriots of 1775 as manifest in after life. 

Worcester Homestead, Hollis, N.H. 

Four of the sons of Captain Noah Worcester be- 
came prominent clergymen, and filled honored 
positions; but they never forgot this old home, 
and loved to return to it, and here, laying aside 
all restraint, live over again those days when they 
went out from this home to do service for their 
country. Thanksgiving Day was their annual ju- 
bilee. The day when these dignified ministers, 
fully six feet tall, roamed over the farm, and gath- 



Jesse Worcester 

ered around the festive 
board, where lay prostrate 
the best turkey of the 
flock, surrounded by pies 
and puddings, and every 
thing that culinary art 
could devise. After din- 
ner they would walk the 
rooms, and join in sing- 
ing '' Coronation." 

Prominent upon the 
walls of the best room of 
this Worcester mansion are the portraits of Jesse 
and Sarah (Parker) Worcester. This boy soldier, 
Jesse, after the Revolution, obtained an education, 
and taught school ; but failing health sent him 
back to the home farm, where he lived for many 
years. In conclusion my 
hostess informed me, — 

" Turned aside from a 
professional life, my 
grandfather was not dis- 
couraged, but with his 
amiable companion, my 
grandmother, made a com- 
mendable record. Fif- 
teen children were born to 
them. Seven of their nine 
sons obtained a liberal 
education. Two of them 

Sarah Worcester 


followed the legal profession (one becoming a 
member of Congress from Ohio during the Civil 
War), one was a teacher, and the others were 
ministers, with the exception of Joseph E., who 
was the author of several histories, geographies, 
etc., but best of all, the dictionary which bears 
his name." The daughters all honored homes of 
their own. 

HoLLis Training Field 






BOWLDER. schoolteachers' PAY IN THE REV- 

Our next halt was at the Tenney homestead, 
where the sixth generation of the family and name 
were met in peaceful contentment. The first was 
William Tenney, who settled here in 1747 with 
his wife, Anna Jewett, from Rowley. The Lex- 
ington alarm called from this home the son Wil- 
liam, who had not yet attained his majority. He 
went out as a minute-man, performed the part of 
a patriot at Cambridge, and later responded to 
the urgent call for troops to take the place of the 
Connecticut forces during; the first winter of 
the war. Notwithstanding the repeated calls for 
personal service in the army, William Tenney, 
who was known as captain, married Phoebe Jewett 
in 1776, and they together conducted the business 
of the farm. Of their ten children, the youngest, 
Hon. Ralph Emerson Tenney, born in 1790, set- 



tied at the homestead. This son was named for 
Ralph Emerson, who, according to a gravestone 
record, was instantly killed by the accidental dis- 
charge of a cannon, while exercising the matross 
on the day before the advent of the Tenney son. 
Thus the parent showed his regard for a neighbor, 
fellow-soldier in the war for liberty, and a son of 

Tenney Homestead, Hollis, N. 

the honored minister of the town. Rev. Daniel 
Emerson. Of the next generation at the Tenney 
farm came William N. Tenney, followed by his 
son Ralph E. Tenney, who, with his children, 
enjoys the shade of the same spreading trees that 
have protected their ancestors from the scorching 
rays of the sun, when walking through the familiar 
path leading from the highway to the old home. 


Passing through the village in a northerly course 
to the southerly end of Long Pond, we made note 
of the former homestead of Phineas Hardy, from 
which three sons went into the army. Our next 
halt was at the home of Deacon Enoch Jewett 
Colburn, whose story was so full of interest that 
we could but tarry and hear it through. This 
ofenuine New Eno:land farmer and church officer 
accepts no tradition that is not well founded, but 
having good evidence of the origin of the family 
in Hollis, tells the following: — 

"• Our family has no traceable connection with 
the other Jewetts of Hollis. Enoch, my grand- 
father, did not serve this town in the war, but it 
was the Revolution that led him to come here. 
He was with Washington's army during that dread- 
ful winter at Valley Forge, and shared in the hard- 
ships of the soldiers." 

" On retiring from White Marsh to Valley Forge, the tents 
of the American Army were exchanged for log huts, which 
constituted acceptable habitations to his nearly naked and 
barefoot troops, who had tracked their way from White 
Marsh, by the blood, which, running from the bare and 
mangled feet of the soldiers, stained the rough and frozen 
road throughout its whole extent. They were in a destitute 
and deplorable situation ; and, to add to their miseries, fam- 
ine began to make its appearance. The British in Philadel- 
phia gave good gold for what the farmers brought to town, 
while Washington could only pay them in Continental scrip, 
which, already depreciated, became less in value." 


"As the spring of 1778 opened," said Mr. 
Colburn, "Washington sent out squads' of men to 
gather provisions. My grandfather was one of a 
squad sent into northern New England to tap the 
maple-trees, and make a quantity of maple-sugar. 
They chanced to come to this town, where they 
built a cabin and began the business. Grand- 
father, then young and venturesome, liked the 
place, and after the war closed came back, mar- 
ried, and settled down in the extreme north part 
of this town. These trees and stone walls are 
continual reminders of him whose name I bear, 
and whom I delight to honor." 

Our route now takes us within the limits of 
the original town of Monson, whose story is told 
under the title of "A Lost Town." Its heroes 
are necessarily classed with the soldiers of Hol- 
lis and Amherst. Notable amons^ these was the 
Youngman family on Pine Hill, who gave them- 
selves up to the interests of the country. There 
were five of them, whose time spent in the ser- 
vice aggregated twenty years. Ebenezer Young- 
man of Captain Moors's company was killed at 
the battle of Bunker Hill. The other brothers 
were in the Continental regiments. Thomas was 
among the victorious at Trenton and Princeton in 
New Jersey, and Nicholas was in the northern 
campaign. Other Old Monson men were Joseph 
French, and Ebenezer, Christopher, and Stephen, 
sons of Lieutenant Benjamin Farley of Bedford, 


Mass., the first innkeeper in West Dunstable 

Ensign Samuel Leeman, who turned out at the 
Lexington alarm, was in the battle of Bunker 
Hill, in the Continental army, and killed near 
Saratoga, October 10, 1777. 

Thomas Emerson and Thaddeus Wheeler were 
of the number who had seen the old town of 
Monson abandoned. There were also the Farleys, 
who had come from Billerica in Massachusetts. 
Caleb, on Pine Hill, the pioneer and head of the 
family, had served in the French war of 1755, to 
the credit of his native town. He served in a suc- 
cession of campaigns in the Revolution, but passed 
safely through it all, and attained the ripe old age 
of one hundred and two years and five months. 
There was Captain William Kendrick, who dis- 
charged the alarm-gun that aroused the Monson 
people on April 19. He was of the Hollis Com- 
mittee of Safety in lyyO-y, and in Captain Emer- 
son's mounted company at Rhode Island. The 
Nevens family acted well their part. They had 
come from Newton and Bedford in Massachusetts, 
and had strong attachments for the people of that 
Province. Five of the sons of William left an 
indelible record in the war. They were William, 
Joseph, Benjamin, John, and Phineas. 

*' Early in the afternoon of the 19th of April, 
three of these brothers were -at work with their 
crowbars in dio-o-ins; stone for a farm wall at a 


short distance from their home. At the coming 
in sight of the messenger, they had partially 
raised from its place a large flat stone embedded 
in a farm roadway. Seeing the messenger spur- 
ring towards them at full sp®ed, one of the 
brothers put a small bowlder under the large stone 
to keep it in the position to which it had been 
raised, and all stopped and listened to the message 
of the horseman. Upon hearing it, leaving the 
stone as it was in the roadway, with the little 
bowlder under it, they hastened to the house, and 
all three of them, with their guns and equipments, 
hurried to the Hollis Common to join their com- 
pany. One of these brothers, Phineas, was killed 
at Bunker Hill ; another, William, the spring fol- 
lowing lost his life in the service in New York." 
John enlisted for the Canada expedition, and was 
never heard of by his people. As a family memo- 
rial of this incident, the large stone, supported by 
the small one, was permitted to remain as the 
men left it when they answered the call of their 
country ; and now (1897) it has been transferred 
to the Common, or ''Old Training Field," and so 
located as to indicate the line of march of the 
ninety-two minute-men who left that town for 
Lexington, April 19, 1775. On this bowlder has 
been placed a bronze tablet on which the names 
of the patriots are read, together with the follow- 
ing : "The Nevens Brothers were at work on this 
stone, on their farm, April 19, 1775, and left it in 


this position at the Minute Men's alarm, to join 
their comrades on this Common." While the old 
town of Monson has been lost, and the Nevens 
home gone to decay, the rough stone upon which 
the brothers were peacefully laboring when the 
war-cry reached them has been set up as their 
pillar of memorial and of their comrades. 

As neighbors to the Nevens family were the 
Baileys. They had a sawmill, and were there at 
work when they received the Lexington alarm. 
Daniel, the father, with sons Daniel, Joel, and 
Andrew, without stopping to shut down the gate, 
made a hasty response. 

There were the Wallingsfords, who had gone 
from Bradford, Mass., to Old Monson. Lieu- 
tenant David, leaving his hoe in the cornfield, 
appeared with his gun at the Common, and was 
of the company who so nobly represented Hollis, 
He entered the Continental army, and was cred- 
ited wnth opening the fire at Bennington. 

The loss of Old Monson occasioned the removal 
of many of her families, and consequently these 
homes went to decay; but in our route we have 
seen the family sites, and, attracted by the few 
struggling trees, with the tenacious lilacs, have 
traced the neglected hearth-stones of the patriots 
of Old Monson. 

Although beyond the limits of Middlesex County 
and of Massachusetts, the town of Hollis has been 
the first town to set iip a monument on which can 



be read the names of all who responded to the 
alarm of April 19, 1775. They are : — 

Reuben Dow, Captain. 

John Goss, ist Lieutenant. 

John Comings, 2d Lieutenant. 

Nathan Blood. 
Joshua Boynton. 
William Nevens. 
Minott Farmer. 
Sampson Powers. 
James Mcintosh. 
James McConnor. 
Ephraim Blood. 
David Farnsworth. 
Noah Worcester. 
Uriah Wright. 
Thomas Pratt. 
Elias Boynton. 
Francis Blood. 
Ezekiel Proctor. 
Jacob Spaulding. 
Ebenezer Ball. 
Thomas Colburn. 
Samuel Hill. 
Benjamin Cumings. 
Samuel Jewett. 
Israel Kenney. 
David Ames, 
William Wood. 
John Campbell. 
Libbens Wheeler. 
Abel Brown. 
Nahum Powers. 
Isaac Stearns. 
Samuel Hosley. 

Daniel Taylor. 
Thomas Kemp. 
Amos Taylor. 
Jacob Read. 
Thomas Wlieat. 
Ebenezer Farley. 

Benjamin Abbott. 
William Tenney. 
Samuel Conery. 
Benjamin Farley. 
Jonathan Russ. 
John Philbrick. 

Ebenezer Youngman. Ebenezer Jaquith. 

James Fisk. 
Josiah Fisk. 
Jonathan Eastman. 
Amos Eastmam. 
Aaron Hardy. 
Benjamin Boynton. 
Ephraim Pierce. 
Jonas Blood. 
James Colburn. 
William French. 
Ebenezer Wheeler. 

Manuel Grace. 
Robert Seaver. 
Nathan Phelps. 
Daniel Blood, Jr. 
Edward Johnson. 
Jacob Danforth. 
Bray Wilkins. 
Israel Wilkins. 
Job Bailey. 
Samuel Leeman. 
Joseph Minot. 

Benjamin Wright, Jr. James Dickey. 

Joseph Bailey. 
Benjamin Wright. 
Nathaniel Wheat. 
Benjamin Nevens. 
Joseph Nevens. 
Nathaniel Ball. 
Benjamin Sanders. 
Ebenezer Gilson. 
Thaddeus Wheeler, 
Thomas Patch. 
Samuel Johnson. 

Jonathan Ames. 
Randal McDaniels. 
David Wallingsford. 
Richard Bailey. 
Nathan Colburn. 
Abner Keyes. 
Joel Bailey. 
John Atwell. 
Jesse Wyman. 
Ephraim Howe. 


The Haydon homo is one of the few that shel- 
teretl the patriots of 1775 and of 1861. The an- 
cient house stands with as much apparent firmness 
as when Samuel Hayden came from Marlborough, 
Massachusetts, and located here in 1761. He was 
attracted, doubtless, by the mill privileges which 
the swift stream afforded, and which has fur- 
nished business for the several generations who 
have made a most commendable record at this 
place. Josiah, a nephew of the pioneer, was the 
second of the family, and was followed by his 
son Samuel, the drummer of the Old Monson com- 
pany. He is succeeded by two sons, who cherish 
the home, till the soil, and tend the mill after the 
most approved plan. A family reminder of not 
only the Revolution, but of the French war, is a 
powder-horn, on which are carved figures repre- 
senting a line of Indians with their war imple- 
ments, and the words : — 


If I \\o lose, and you do find, 
Give it to me, for it is mine. 

This horn and the family musket were taken 
down from their places above the open fire, ana 
carried by Samuel Hayden into the Revolution. 
The maternal head of the Hayden family was Han- 
nah Bailey, daughter of Samuel who was killed at 
Bunker Hill. Hannah was a schoolteacher in An- 


dover when the troubles with the mother country 
broke out. At the close of a short term of her 
school, there was a great scarcity of money, and 
the school committee allowed the teacher to take 
her choice between the bills of credit of the 
time or rolls of wool, in payment for her services. 
She took the latter, and spun them into yarn, and 
made cloth, which later became useful to her in 
completing her wedding outfit. In proof of this, 
her grandsons at the old home brought forward 
a liberal sample of the fabric. 

Our journey through Old Mon-^son was made 
doubly interesting by an additional guide, — Mr. 
Charles S. Spaulding, son of Asaph S. Spaulding 
and Hannah Colburn. In common with other res- 
idents of Hollis, our guide has a connection with 
Middlesex families. He says, "There were induce- 
ments held out for immigration, a special effort 
being made by means of handbills circulated 
through Middlesex and Essex Counties. 

Having completed the circuit, I halted at the 
home of my efficient guide, Mr. Cyrus F. Burge, 
on the farm where his father has spent his days, 
and where his great-grandfather settled in 1762, 
and from which Ephraim Burge went into the 
war, doing service in the northern campaign when 
Burgoyne surrendered. 

The old burying-place of Hollis is a typical 
churchyard as far as there can be one in a com- 
paratively new country. Having completed my 


search for the footprints of the patriots around 
the old hearth-stones, and remembering that — 

"The paths of glory lead but to the grave," 

I turned in to the narrow acre with its grass-grown 
paths, and sought for a few hints of the chapter of 
patriotism chiselled on the moss-grown, tottering 
slabs which stand like weary sentinels. 
First I read : — 



Who Departed this Life October ye 29TH, 1787, 

IN YE 68th Year of his Age. 

It was so soon after the war that the people 
had not begun to fully realize the import of the 
message so promptly spread through the town by 
this faithful deacon. 

I next read the name of — 


Who Departed this Life 

March 6, 1808, in the 89TH Year of his Age. 

Even at this date no note is made of the part 
taken by this village hero. The common grave 
at Bunker Hill where were buried so many of the 
pride of Hollis is recalled by the brief note on a 
stone, on which is read, '' Lucy Baldwin, daughter 
of Thomas Wheat, who was killed at the Battle of 
Bunker Hill." 


The grave of Captain Reuben Dow recalled 
that scene on the Common opposite, when he at 
the head of the HoUis minute-men marched off to 
Cambridge. He lived till 181 1, having completed 
more than fourscore years. An erect stone tells 
that Doctor John Hale was born October 24th, 
1731, and died October 22d, 1791. He was colo- 
nel of a regiment, and resigned to enter the ser- 
vice as surgeon, serving through the war. Near 
by we read that Dr. William Hale was born, 
July 27th, 1762, and died October 10, 1854. He 
entered the service as aid to his father at the age 
of fifteen years, and served through the war. 

Among these stones, '' with uncouth rhymes 
and shapeless sculpture deck'd," are reminders 
of the Emerson family, of which New England is 
justly proud. As I shall refer to the Emerson 
clergymen of this locality in another connection, 
I will only call the attention of my readers to the 
record of some of the sons of Rev. Daniel Emer- 
son of Hollis who lie buried with those whom they 










OCXOBiiR 4, 1820, ^T. 74. 

I -.8 


On a stone at the grave of another son of the 
Hollis minister is read : — 




the matross 

October 4, 1790, 

IN THE 30TH Year of his Age, 

We drop apace. 
By nature some decay, 
And some the gusts of fortune sweep away. 

Nevens's Boulder 





When on that field his band the Hessians fought, 
Briefly he spoke before the fight began : 
" Soldiers, those German gentlemen were bought 
For four pounds eight and seven pence per man, 
By England's King ; a bargain, it is thought. 
Are we worth more? let's prove it while we can; 
For we must beat them, boys, ere set of sun. 
Or my wife sleeps a widow." — It was done. 


It was my good fortune to meet Mr. John Col- 
burn ^ on the celebration of his ninety-sixth birth- 
day at his home in Hollis, N.H. He was strong 
in mind and body, and spent the hours of this an-- 
niversary in recalling the scenes of the ])ast. It 
was like breaking the seals of closed volumes to 
many in attendance. 

" I was one of thirteen children born to my 
parents, James and Susannah (Hardy) Colburn. 
We had a hard struggle in our youth, for my 
father was not a strong man. He lost his health 

1 See story of Hollis. 


in the northern campaigns of ''jG and 'jj. My 
earliest recollections are of his accounts of service 
in the war. He used to tell us, ' I was only in 
my teens when I entered the Provincial service. 
I passed through the battle of Bunker Hill safely, 
while my neighbors and townsmen fell around 
me. But I endured great hardship in the cam- 
paign at the north when following up Burgoyne 
and his army. Bridges were scarce at that time, 
and we were compelled to ford the rivers. In 
wading across the Mohawk I took a severe cold, 
from which I never fully recovered ; but we pushed 
on, filled with contempt for Burgoyne, who had 
written a long proclamation to the Americans 
soon after his arrival in the country. He prom- 
ised great things to them if they would lay down 
their arms and surrender peaceably to the British, 
but threatened terrible things if they continued to 
oppose the king. Among other evils, he said he 
would let the Indians loose among them if they 
refused to surrender. 

Note. — The manner in which the Indians were inducted into 
the service of killing the patriots of America is seen by the follow- 
ing: " We went to-day to headquarters in Montreal, to be present 
at a meeting between General Carleton and all the nations of wild 
men, since, in order to make it as impressive as possible, all the 
chief officers of the army were expressly invited to attend. The 
chiefs of the so-called Iroquois nation, namely, many of the Onan 
tais, Anajutais, Nonlaquahuques, and Kanastaladi, met at six o'clock 
in the evening, in the old church of the Jesuits, which had been 
expressly prepared for the occasion. The high choir was covered 


with carpets, upon which were placed a row of stools. In the 
centre was a large armchair for Governor-General Carleton, who 
during the whole of the meeting kept his hat upon his head. Be- 
hind him was a table, near which sat the adjutant generals, Cap- 
tains Foy and Carleton, who served as secretaries. There were 
also benches, upon which sat three hundred wild men, with their 
pipes lighted. Every nation had its chief and interpreter, the lat- 
ter acting as spokesman and translating into French all that was 
said to General Carleton, In order, however, that there might be 
no mistakes or misunderstandings. General Carleton had also his 
interpreter. Thus each nation spoke for itself. The substance of 
what they said was that they had heard the rebels [Americans] 
had risen against the English nation; that they praised the valor 
of General Carleton as shown in frustrating the designs of the 
enemy; that they, therefore, loved and esteemed him, and that 
they had come to offer their services against the rebels. . . . All 
these nations were engaged for one year, and had their posts as- 
signed them. Before leaving they all passed by General Carleton, 
shaking hands with him and the rest of the officers. The evening 
and night were spent by them in feasting and dancing, which had 
already lasted seven days. They had brought with them a few 
scalps of rebels whom they had killed, and with which they hon- 
ored Generals Carleton, Burgoyne, and Phillips." Other Indian 
nations were also brought into this abominable service. They 
offered " their grandfather, the King of England, and their father, 
General Carleton " their services against the Bostonians. One of 
the leaders of the company wore at this time the coat of General 
Braddock, whom he had killed in the fatal expedition of 1755. 
That proud general's vest was also worn by a nine-year-old son of 
the Indian chief. The appropriation of a dead British general's 
clothes could not have been a very agreeable sight for the present 
actors in the great drama. 

*"This announcement filled the Americans with 
indignation, especially the army engaged in the 
north. Every day there was a new story told of 


Indian barbarity. Even t.he British could not 
safely trust their savage allies. A Tory officer 
sent a party of Indians to escort a young lady 
named Jane McCrea, to whom he was engaged in 
marriage, within the British lines. - When on the 
way, the Indian escorts fell into a quarrel over 
the reward they were to receive, and in the diffi- 
culty, killed the girl, and bore her scalp away, 
leaving her mangled body in the road. 

" * This brutality committed near her neighbors 
and friends filled the whole country with horror 
and indignation, and even General Burgoyne saw 
that he had made a mistake in placing confidence 
in such allies. 

*' ' I was with General John Stark, in whom we 
had the greatest confidence. Seth Warner and 
the '' Green Mountain Boys " were with us in the 
latter part of the campaign. About the middle 
of September, 1777, the two armies of the north 
were near each other, waiting for action. Bur- 
goyne was on the heights of Saratoga. Gates, 
the American general who had succeeded Schuy- 
ler, was on some heights back of the old tavern 
known as *'Bemis Inn." On the 19th of Septem- 
ber we met, near the village of Stillwater, in 
bloody battle, which lasted several hours without 
any apparent result to either side. On the 7th 
of October we had it again, in about the same 
place. We fought until dark. General Frazer, 
Burgoyne's favorite general, was shot through the 


body, and soon died. Soon after this battle, when ■ 
there was yet doubt as to what the final results 
were to be, we saw the enemy in their intrench- 
ments, and kept up our cannonade, not knowing 
that they were carrying out the dying request of 
General Frazer, and burying him in the trench on 
the height where he had received his mortal 
wound. While we were waiting in uncertainty, 
the generals of the two armies were carrying on a 
correspondence in regard to terms of Burgoyne's 
surrender. It was at length agreed that his army 
should lay down their arms, and march to Boston 
as prisoners of war, and be sent to Europe, under 
a promise to take up arms no more in the war. 
I had no love for any of those who were fighting 
against us, but especially despised the Hessians, 
whom we thought were willingly hired to come 
to this country to subdue us. By a special act of 
generosity on the part of General Gates, none of 
us were allowed to see the enemy when they 
marched out to the fields of Saratoga and there 
stacked their guns ; but when the march off to- 
wards Boston was begun, it became necessary to 
have a guard, and I was of that number. Up to 
this time I had entertained nothing but contempt 
for the women, wives of the German soldiers, who 
followed the army ; but when I saw the family of 
the Brunswick general, I came to the conclusion 
that they were people of distinction, and were 
actuated by other than sinister motives. My 


sympathies went out for them in the long journey 
across the country, as we guarded the captured 
thousands to Cambridge, Mass., where they were 
lodged in the abandoned barracks of the army 
which kept the British shut up in Boston.' " 

To the above story of James Colburn, a soldier 
of the Revolution, as told to me in substance by 
his son John when lacking but four years of a 
century of life, I am indebted for the suggestion 
of the following story of the German soldiers who 
fought for George III. in the Revolution : — 

Note. — Much has justly been said in condemnation of the 
English Government for employing Germans in the war for the 
subjugation of her revolted American Colonies, and generations of 
the descendants of those who fought the hirelings have naturally 
imbibed feelings of contempt for the German army. But it should 
be remembered that at that time the German soldier belonged, 
body and soul, to him to whom he had sold himself. He had no 
country. He was severed from every tie; in fact, he was, in every 
sense of the word, the property of his military lord, who could do 
with him as he saw fit. They did not prove to be as helpful as 
it was expected, but were found totally unfit for the business in 
which they were engaged. They could not march through the 
woods and encounter the difficulties incident to war in our then 
almost unsettled country. Many of them deserted to our army 
before and after the surrender, or convention, as it was more 
tenderly designated at the request of Burgoyne. We have in New 
England to-day descendants of Hessians for whom the English 
Government was obliged to pay the agreed price, — being absent 
from the returning army, they were rated as dead. Descendants 
of Hoffmaster, Kyar, Patio, and others, have become good citizens 
of Massachusetts; and no braver soldiers fought for the Union at 
Gettysburg than some of the representatives of those men who 
came to this country as Hessians. More of the deserters settled in 

hessiajvs in the war 


New York, and after a full century, a German's cabin was seen 
at Charlestown, Warren County, of that State. The Hessian offi- 
cers were equipped with everything for their comfort, as though 
their trip to America were only an excursion for pleasure. A to- 
bacco-box, which belonged to one of the un- 
fortunate officials, is now seen in a collection 
of relics in the town of Bedford. The 
owner fought and died in the northern 
campaign. This pocket companion 
was taken to Canada by a Brit- 
ish soldier of the king, and at 
length became the property 
of an English lady at Hali- 
fax, N.S., and was by her 
presented to a Boston lady, 
whose interests in the town 

of Bedford occasioned it to be finally deposited at her old home- 
stead, and in the house from which the minute-men of Bedford 
set out for Concord fight on April 19, 1775. In the Salem Insti- 
tute may be seen a hat which belonged to a Hessian officer who 
gave up his life in the " Jerseys." 

Hessian Tobacco-box 





No foreign king shall give us laws, no British tyrant reign, 
For independence made us free, and independence we'll maintain. 
We'll charge our foes from post to post, attack their works and lines, 
Or by some well-laid stratagem, we'll make them all Burgoynes. 

Rev. Samuel Hidden. 

The Germans and Hessians were in a sorry 
plight. They came not here voluntarily, but were 
caught while in their churches and elsewhere, and 
were forced into the service. 

The wives who were with them helped make 
up the pitiable procession that passed through the 

" They had a collection of wild animals in their train — the 
only thing American they had captured. Here could be 
seen an artillery-man leading a grizzly bear, that every now 
and then would rear upon his hind legs as if he were tired of 
going upon all fours, or occasionally growl his disapprobation 
at being pulled along by a chain. In the same manner a 
tame deer would be seen tripping lightly after a grenadier. 


Young foxes were also observed looking sagaciously from the 
top of a baggage- wagon, or a young racoon securely clutched 
under the arm of a sharp-shooter."'' 

Their advent to Cambridge is thus described by 
an eye-witness : — 

" On Friday we heard the Hessians were to 
make a procession on the same route. I never 
had the least idea that the creation produced such 
a sordid set of creatures in human figure, — poor, 
dirty, emaciated men ; a great many women, who 
seemed to be the beasts of burden, having bushel 
baskets on their backs by which they were bent 
double. The contents seemed to be pots and 
kettles, various sorts of furniture, children peep- 
ing through gridirons and other utensils, some 
very young infants who were born on the road. 
The women were bare-footed, and clothed in dirty 
rags. Such effluvia filled the air while they were 
passing, that had they not been smoking all the 
time, I should have been fearful of disease. 

"Among these prisoners were generals of the 
first order of talent ; young gentlemen of noble and 
wealthy families aspiring to military renown ; le- 
gislators of the British realm ; and avast concourse 
of other men, lately confident of victory and of 
freedom to plunder and destroy, were led captive 
through the pleasant land they had coveted, to be 
gazed at with mingled joy and scorn by those 
whose homes they came to make desolate. Their 
march was solemn, sullen, and silent." 


To many of them the abandoned barracks of 
the patriots afforded more comfort than they had 
been enjoying, while to some the best quarters 
were repulsive in the extreme. 

Note. — The reader will bear in mind that the German troops 
captured and marched as prisoners to Cambridge were only a por- 
tion of the whole army hired from that country by the King of 
England to subdue the patriots. They were first met in combat at 
Long Island in August, 1776, when Washington was defeated with 
a loss of one thousand in dead and wounded ; but before the year 
closed, Washington made that memorable Christmas 1 call upon the 
enemy after crossing the Delaware, and captured a full thousand of 
the Hessians. 

The British soldiers were quartered in the bar- 
racks on Prospect Hill, and the Germans on Win- 
ter Hill. Cambridge again assumed a warlike 
appearance. Besides the almost six thousand pris- 
oners quartered there, a small army of patriots 
was required to keep guard over them. Among 
the guard were some brave men who had appeared 
there under different circumstances in the spring 
of 1775. The command of the guard fell to Gen- 
eral Glover of Marblehead, although many towns 
were represented in the rank and file. In the al- 
most illegible records of the towns may be deci- 
phered entries like the following : — 

" Men to take and guai'd the convention troops.'''' 

William R. Lee of Marblehead, who had two 
years before been prominent as a captain at the 

1 See Story of Marblehead. 


Cambridge camp, was again on the ground, but as 
a colonel, with his troops to form a portion of the 

On the day following the arrival of the army. 
General Burgoyne and his two major-generals, 
Phillips and Riedesel, dined by invitation with 
General Heath, the commander of the American 
forces in and around Boston. The dinner is de- 
scribed as an elegant affair. Whose healths were 
drunk we do not know. Among the guests were 
Generals Glover and Whipple, who had conducted 
the British part of the capitulated army from Sar- 
atoga. This fine beginning was too good to last. 
Many of the prisoners were too base to appreciate 
favors; as utterly incapable of manifesting a sense 
of gratitude as they were of understanding the 
language in which orders were given. They took 
advantage of the liberty given them, and com- 
menced a wholesale destruction of fences, sheds, 
barns, fruit, and ornamental-trees, and everything 
available, under the pretence of necessity for fuel. 
This led to the enforcement of more rigid meas- 
ures on the part of the guard, and then to com- 
plaints from the prisoners, and a general disturb- 

It is apparent that General Burgoyne enter- 
tained no hard feelings against Colonel Lee, for 
there is credited to him the most remarkable kind- 
ness in the following narrative.^ 

1 See " History of Marblehead " by Roads. 


Captain John Lee, brother of Colonel William 
R., while in the privateer service, was taken pris- 
oner in 1776, and sent to Forton Prison, ^ England. 
He was there submitted to the most cruel treat- 
ment. Three times he attempted, with a few of 
his companions in misery, to make an escape ; 
but as often failed, and received a worse punish- 

At length he was allowed the range of the larger 
apartments and yard of the prison. He was in- 
formed one day by an officer that there was some 
one at the gate who had been granted an inter- 
view with him. On going to the entrance he 
found a well but plainly dressed gentleman, who 
asked, "Are you Captain John Lee of Marble- 
head.'*" and being satisfied of his identity, the 
strange caller presented a purse containing sev^- 
enty-five guineas. 

The prisoner asked in astonishment to whom 
he was indebted for such a timely and most ac- 
ceptable present. " No matter," was the answer. 
And then the gentleman observed, '* With a 
part of the funds, purchase, or procure in some 
way, a complete suit of uniform like those worn 
by the soldiers of the guard ; and this even- 
ing place yourself in some obscure corner or po- 
sition, whence you can unperceived fall into the 
ranks when they go the rounds, and come out 

1 Same prison mentioned in "A Romance of War " in "Be- 
neath Old Roof Trees " of this series. 


into the yard. But as there are sentinels who 
must be passed before you reach the street, the 
countersign will be required ; " which was then 
whispered in his ear, and the unknown gentleman 

By using the gold freely and wisely during the 
day, Captain Lee was enabled to obtain the need- 
ful dress, and following the instructions which he 
had so strangely received, he fell into the ranks 
as the guard passed through the prison, and soon 
reached the yard. Then giving the countersign, 
he passed the guard at the outer gate, and found 
himself alone in the street. The night was very 
dark, and the roads were strange to him, so that 
he did not know where to go, or what step to 
take next to make sure of success. While he was 
endeavoring to reach a decision, the gentleman 
who gave him the purse came up, and taking him 
by the hand, congratulated him upon his good 
fortune. Then conducting him to a carriage 
which was waiting at a little distance, the gentle- 
man requested him to enter it, and stated that 
the coachman had instructions where to convey 
him. As he entered the carriage the strange 
gentleman wished him a prosperous and safe re- 
turn to America, and was about taking his leave, 
when Captain Lee again asked to whom he was 
indebted for such a humane and generous act. 
He answered, *' No matter." And after directing 
the coachman to move off, he bowed and said. 


'' Farewell, God bless you ! " and was soon out of 

On his arrival in America, Captain Lee related 
the circumstances of his escape to his brother, 
Colonel William R. Lee, and expressed a strong 
desire to know who the gentleman could have 
been, and what were his motives for extending as- 
sistance to an utter stranger and a natural enemy. 
Colonel Lee replied, — 

*' I can inform you. When General Burgoyne 
and his army arrived at Cambridge as prisoners of 
war, I had the command of the troops which were 
stationed there as guard, and again for several 
months previous to his departure for England. 
When I waited upon him to take leave on the day 
of his departure, he thanked me in the most cordial 
manner for my attentions, and, as he expressed it, 
the gentlemanly and honorable manner in which 
I had treated him and his officers, and wished 
to know whether there was anything which he 
could do for me when he reached England. I in- 
formed him I had a brother who for more than 
two years had been confined in Forton Prison ; 
and as he was entirely destitute of funds, I should 
consider it a great favor if he would take charge 
of seventy-five guineas, and cause them to be de- 
livered to him on his arrival. He replied, 'Why 
did you not inform me before that you had a 
brother a prisoner in England } You shall not 
send any money to him ; I will see that it is sup- 


plied, and shall with great pleasure do everything 
in my power to render his situation as comfort- 
able as possible.' I thanked him for his generous 
offer of services, but informed him that I could 
not consent to receive pecuniary aid, and desired 
as a special favor that 
he would be so kind as 
to deliver you the purse 
which I put into his 
hand. 'It shall be 
done,' he said ; * and 
you may be assured 
that I shall find him 
out, and see that he 
is well provided for in 
all respects.' Thus, it 
is evident that you are 
indebted to General 
Burgoyne for your for- 
tunate escape from the 
horrors of a prison." baroness rieuesel. 

Madam R i e d e s e 1 
gives us some ideas of the journey to Cambridge 
from the standpoint of a captive. 

" As it was already very late in the season, and the weather 
raw, I had my calash covered with coarse linen, which in 
turn was varnished over with oil ; and in this manner we set 
out on our journey to Boston, which was very tedious, be- 
sides being attended with considerable hardship. 

" I know not whether it was my carriage that attracted 


the curiosity of the people to it, — for it certainly had the 
appearance of a wagon in which they carry around rare ani- 
mals, — but often I was obliged to halt, because the people 
insisted upon seeing the wife of the German general with her 
children. For fear that they would tear off" the linen cover- 
ing from the wagon in their eagerness to see me, I very 
often alighted, and by this means got away more quickly." 

On the arrival at Cambridge, Madam Riedesel 
and family were quartered at a private house, 
which she describes as follows : " We had only 
one room under the roof. My women servants 
slept on the floor, and our men servants in the 
entry. Some straw, which I placed under our 
beds, served us for a long time, as I had with 
me nothing more than my own field-bed." 

They were allowed to eat in the room where 
the whole family ate and slept. It is impossible 
to imagine the feelings of the baroness when 
obliged to remain in such quarters. For one used 
to ordinary living to be thus located it would be 
hard indeed, and vastly more irksome for one 
accustomed to the luxury of the Riedesel home. 

It is apparent that this was not intentional on 
the part of the Americans in charge, for after 
three weeks the family were given lodgings in 
one of the most beautiful houses of Cambridge. 
It was the Lechmere House, one of the seven 
on "Tory Row" (Brattle Street) vacated by the 
Royalists. It is yet standing, not far from the col- 
leges. Both house and grounds are so changed as 


to be scarcely recognizable. The Colonial style 
of the dwelling is utterly destroyed, and many 
houses now stand on the extensive grounds where 
richly dressed men and women were often seen 
before the Revolution. 

These noted prisoners enjoyed themselves in 
their new quarters, and were in full sympathy 
with the owners who had been obliged to flee. 
They complained that the town throughout was 
full of ''violent patriots" and ''wicked people." 
They decried the women, who they claimed showed 
them the greatest indignity. 

The kindness of General Schuyler prompted the 
baroness to pay a visit to his daughter Madam Car- 
ter, whose attentions she fully appreciated ; but 
complained of her husband, who, she said, pro- 
posed to the Americans "to chop off the heads 
of our generals, salt them down in barrels, and 
send over to the English one of these barrels for 
every hamlet or little town burned down." 

After the abusive measures adopted by General 
Gage in this locality, it seems remarkable that 
these prisoners should have been treated with so 
much lenience, notwithstanding the terms of sur- 
render. It was quite like our more modern way of 
dealing with our enemies. The family held balls 
and parties, and even went so far as to celebrate 
the birthday of the king. When they had become 
quite contented, expecting to remain in this place 
until set free, there came an order for a chan2:e. 


Some of the troops were sent to Rutland in the 
interior of the State, and others were sent to 
Virginia. It fell to the lot of the Riedesels to go 
to Virginia. 

The baroness succeeded in secreting the Ger- 
man colors, and preventing their being captured 
by the Americans, who were led by her to believe 
that they were burned at Saratoga, which was not 
true, the staffs only being destroyed, while the 
colors were secreted in a mattress. 

A daughter born to the family in New York in 
1780, while they were prisoners of war, received 
the name of America, which name she honorably 
bore through a long life in Germany. 

The family spent nearly seven years in this 
country, it being the autumn of 1783 before they 
again saw their Brunswick home. About one- 
third of General Riedesel's army either perished 
or voluntarily remained in America. 

The record of the Riedesels and the Hessians 
occupies but a small place in our history, and is 
passed with but little notice, save as it comes to 
us occasionally through the lips of one who, like 
John Colburn of Hollis, N.H., has had it from one 
of the patriots who faced the foes " who killed for 

The poet Longfellow, who became the owner of 
the house which was the headquarters of Wash- 
ington during his stay at Cambridge, became in- 
terested in the story of the Riedesels, whose home 


was not unlike his own, and has remembered them 
in '' The Open Window : " — 

The old house by the lindens 

Stood silent in the shade, 
And on the gravelled pathway 

The light and shadow played. 

I saw the nursery windows 

Wide open to the air ; 
But the faces of the children, 

They were no longer there. 

The large Newfoundland house-dog 

Was standing by the door ; 
He looked for his little playmates, 

Who would return no more. 

They walked not under the lindens, 

They played not in the hall ; 
But shadow, and silence, and sadness 

Were hanging over all. 

The birds sang in the branches, 

With sweet, familiar tone ; 
But the voices of the children 

Will be heard in dreams alone ! 

And the boy that walked beside me, 

He could not understand 
Why closer in mine, ah ! closer, 

I pressed his warm, soft hand ! 

Well authenticated history and tradition prove 
that Burgoyne and his ofificers were shown favors 
seldom granted to prisoners of war. While the 



Brunswick general was living in luxury as de- 
scribed, General Burgoyne received the distinction 
of being located in the Apthorp House, vacated 
by its Loyalist owner, John Borland, who gave up 
his beautiful home, rather than forsake the Crown 

Apthorp House, Cambridge, where Burgoyne was Imprisoned 

and ally himself with the Colonists. With all the 
softening effect of time and circumstances, one 
cannot revert to the vacated estates of Brattle 
Street without arousing the most profound sym- 
pathy for that class of people denominated Tories, 
many of whom had great possessions. These 
they sacrificed, and much else that was dear to 
them, rather than espouse the doubtful cause. 


These Loyalists were doubtless as conscientious 
in their course as were their neighbors, the pa- 
triots, in their struggle for liberty. 

The Apthorp House is one of the notable houses 
of Cambridge to-day. It is a well-preserved spe- 
cimen of the Colonial architecture, surrounded by 
ample grounds, but which have been greatly shorn 
of their original lawn. In the mellow sunlight of 
an October afternoon, by the courtesy of the oc- 
cupant and partial owner, I thoughtfully strolled 
about that yard, over the turf once trod by the 
proud general whose glory had departed. I re- 
called the scene when the general, presuming 
upon the leniency of the guard, made an attempt 
to overstep his limits, and, being brought to a halt, 
gave free expression to his feelings ; so says the 
daughter of one who was a witness to the scene. 
The massive door of the mansion, and the large 
hall in which it swings, are silent reminders of 
many noted guests who have crossed that thresh- 
old. The spacious rooms on either side, where 
elaborate carvings have withstood the vexing hand 
of modern architects, and the broad staircase with 
elegant balustrade, remind one of not only the 
days when a notable prisoner was the occupant, but 
of the builder and his successors in possession. 

This interesting mansion is familiar to all who 
have been connected with Harvard University for 
more than a century, many of whom have dwelt 
beneath its roof. It was built about 1760 for Rev. 


East Apthorp, the first rector of Christ Church, 
Cambridge. In sentiment and manner of living, 
Dr. Apthorp may be classed with the Vassal, Lee, 
Inman, Oliver, Fhips, Lechmere, Brattle, and Tem- 
ple families, who were instrumental in erecting 
the church edifice and establishing the mission. 
It was at a time when there was an increasing 
opposition to the element of aristocracy in the 
Colonies. Being censured for his high living, 
etc., Dr. Apthorp became dissatisfied, and returned 
to England, after advising his parishioners to give 
less heed to "fashionable imitation and parade in 
buildings, tables, equipages, etc." 

John Borland and family, belonging to the se- 
lect circle of sympathizers, were occupants of the 
Apthorp House when the Revolutionary troubles 
began. They were classed among the "absen- 
tees;" but the head of the family having died 
while in Boston in 1775, the property was not 
held by the government, and the heirs succeeded 
to the ownership. During the Borland possession 
the house was enlarged by adding a story at the 
top for the use of the negro slaves of the family, 
there being a growing sentiment in the Bay Col- 
ony against the practice of certain New York fam- 
ilies, who assigned their cellars for the sleeping 
apartments of their slaves. Captain Thomas War- 
land became, through purchase, the next owner of 
the famous house, and it is still in the possession 
of his family. 



A pair of brass candlesticks, a part of the 
travelling equipage or tent ornaments of General 
Burgoyne, were presented to Lieutenant Edmund 
Monroe of Lexington by a superior officer, after 

SbiB^ j^^^^ 

Burgoyne's Candlesticks 

the surrender of the northern army. These are 
still in the family, owned by George R. Fessenden, 
M.D., of Ashfield, Mass. They are made so as 
to be packed in a compact form, and carried in the 

Note. — To trace the route taken by that part of the capitulated 
army which went to Cambridge, the reader should follow it from 
Saratoga across the Hudson to Great Barrington, where for the first 
time they found shelter in barns. There they halted for some 
time in order to secure a change of teams for the conveyance of 
baggage, the sick, etc. Then they went on to Westfield in a lazy 
and shiftless manner. Two of the Germans perished from expo- 
sure before reaching West Springfield, where they crossed the Con- 
necticut River; and finding the people of East Springfield unwilling 
to quarter the troops, they were obliged to go on as far as Palmer, 
thence to Brookfield, where the Germans overtook their English 
fellow-sufferers, who had preceded them a day's journey. From 
Brookfield to Leicester was a march of eleven days, where quarters 
for the weary army were obtained. On November 4 they reached 
Worcester, and obtained " deacent quarters." Generals Burgoyne 


and Phillips, with Brigadier Glover, were there at the same time. 
The next day found them at Marlborough, and on the succeeding 
day they reached Weston, and one day more was needed to com- 
plete the journey to Cambridge, November 7. 

One need not study very intently the history of the towns 
through which the prisoners passed, to find that the patriots on the 
entire route took pleasure in the panoramic scenes. In many in- 
stances, however, they gave relief to the poor bedraggled creatures 
who fell out by the way, and lay down to die in a strange land. 

According to the terms of capitulation, the army was to have 
a free passage to England under Lieutenant-General Burgoyne. It 
was to march to Massachusetts Bay by the easiest and most expedi- 
tious route, and be quartered as near as possible to Boston. The offi- 
cers were not to be separated from their men ; but they were to be 
quartered according to rank, and not to be hindered from assembling 
their men for roll-call and the necessary purposes of regularity. 
They were to be allowed the privilege of parole, and to wear their 
side-arms. The terms of agreement signed by Gates in behalf of 
the Colonies, and Burgoyne on the part of the English Government, 
were not fully carried out, failing to be indorsed by the Continen- 
tal Congress. 

In times of peace it is hardly fair to impugn the motives of the 
faithful leaders in times of war; but they were charged with de- 
taining the troops for the purpose of having them desert, and join 
the American army. 





Early in 1776, when General Gage found he 
could not have his own way, and Burgoyne had 
learned that he must fight to have " elbow room," 
Eno:land entered into treaties with the smaller 
German states to take into her service twenty 
thousand German troops. The landgrave of Hesse- 
Cassel furnished the larger share, and hence all 
the Germans received the appellation "Hessians." 

The custom followed by the ruler of this Ger- 
man province of hiring out Hessian soldiers was 
one of long standing, and one which aided the 
finances not a little, and sometimes led to the for- 
mation of important alliances on the part of the 
reisrnino: House. It is recorded that the British 
Government paid. ^3,000,000 for the services of 
the army of Hessians who fought against our 
patriotic ancestors in the Revolution. Of these, 
four thousand were Brunswickers, natives of the 
province of Brunswick. 


While I will not run the risk of confusing my 
readers by departing from the appellation Hes- 
sians, I desire to have it apparent that the Ger- 
man allies of the king were of different classes, 
and not all of the grade which we have sometimes 
contemptuously regarded them, although none of 
them had any honorable motive for taking up arms 
against the Provincials. 

The Brunswick army was placed under the com- 
mand of Major-General Riedesel, a man of literary 
culture and refinement, as well as of military dis- 
tinction ; and the only wonder is that he could be 
hired to lead an army to come to America " to 
butcher her children." 

If my reader would follow the course taken by 
this general and his German army from their 
starting-point to America, let him turn to the map 
of the German Empire, and find near the centre 
the province of Brunswick, from which their start 
was made. They marched across the province of 
Hanover to Stadc, a fortified town about a mile 
from the mouth of the Schwinge in the Elbe, 
where they began their journey by water. "The 
departure of the boats was one of the most beauti- 
ful spectacles that can be imagined. All was con- 
tentment and happiness." The boat which carried 
General Riedesel was the Pallas, the same which 
conveyed General Gage from America to England. 
The first day's journey was past beautiful villages, 
plainly seen from the boat on either side of the 


Elbe, to Fryburg, and then they were soon out to 
sea. Touching at Dover, they passed through the 
Strait to the English Channel, halting at Ports- 
mouth, and passing on to Plymouth, which they 
left on April 4 for America. The fleet, upon 
leaving the coast of Iingland, numbered thirty-six 
sailing-vessels. After a passage of nine weeks, 
they arrived at Quebec, where the general saw 
some of our men who had been captured, '' Rebel 
prisoners," he called them. From Quebec they 
went to Three Rivers, from which place the gen- 
eral wrote to his wife : " We have already con- 
quered the whole of Canada, and shall, as soon as 
the boats are in readiness, force our way into New 
England by the way of Lake Champlain, where 
are all the rebels." After taking Crown Point 
they went into winter quarters in and near Three 
Rivers. Here they remained in the full enjoy- 
ment of good living, after a time of illness occa- 
sioned by the change in climate. The anticipation 
of a complete subjugation of the patriot army in 
the spring added to their winter's enjoyment. In 
May they were made doubly sure of success by 
the arrival of General John Burgoyne, with a 
picked army, great stores of ammunition, and the 
finest brass cannon yet sent over. Good plans 
were made, but the trouble came in carrying them 

At first they were successful ; and General Rie- 
desel began to win laurels for himself and his army, 


and Burgoyne thought the way was clear before 
him. They repulsed Seth Warner and his ''Green 
Mountain Boys " at Hubbardston, Vermont, cap- 
tured Ticonderoga and the stores at Whitehall. 
But at length the Germans marched on to Ben- 
nington, where General Stark had put in an ap- 
pearance with some New Hampshire militia. It 
was their appearance that called forth that oft- 
repeated remark, ''There they are, boys. We 
shall beat them to-night, or to-morrow morning 
Molly Stark will be a widow." ^ They did defeat 
them, and captured some brass cannon, which 
they could not turn to a good use until General 
Stark showed them how to do it. 

There soon followed the conditions and expe- 
riences which Mr. Colburn described to me, and 
which have been already recorded in a previous 

The reader recalls the statement of Mr. Col- 
burn, and wonders how the family of the Bruns- 
wick general came to be with him at the surrender 
of October 17. Surprising as it may seem, it was 
quite the habit of these German soldiers to have 

1 "The morning came — there stood the foe; 
Stark eyed them as they stood; 
Few words he spake — 'twas not a time 
For moralizing mood; 
* See there, the enemy, my boys — 
Now, strong in valor's might, 
Beat them, or Betty Stark will sleep 
In widowhood to-night! ' " 


their wives along with them. About fourscore 
women left their homes, and made the journey to 
America with the army to which their husbands 
belonged. The peasant women were contented to 
do the drudgery of the camp, and live in a most 
diso-ustins: manner„ It was in accordance with 
this custom that the family of General Riedesel 
was with him at Saratoga ; but their manner of 
journeying and living was in the greatest contrast 
to that of the peasants. 

The Baroness Riedesel was equally as cultured 
and refined as her husband the general. She be- 
longed to a distinguished family, and from youth 
was accustomed to the most cultivated society of 
her country. Although surrounded with all that 
wealth and station could provide, the baroness 
would have accompanied her husband to America 
had circumstances permitted. At her earliest op- 
portunity. May 4, she set out on her journey to 
meet him. She took with her three daughters, 
Gustava, Frederica, and Caroline, aged four years 
and nine months, two years, and ten weeks, re- 
spectively. She was accompanied by a retinue of 
servants of both sexes, which her wealth and posi- 
tion warranted. They made the journey overland 
in a coach to Calais, where they took a ship for 
England, landed at Dover, and were conveyed to 
London by coach. They arrived in London on 
June I, and she immediately received the courtesy 
from Lord North which her position demanded. 


After a few days she went to Bristol, where she 
met a Captain Fenton, whose wife and a daughter 
of fourteen years were held as prisoners in Boston, 
New England. The baroness spent months in 
making preparations for her ocean voyage, during 
which time she appeared at Court, and was pre- 
sented to King George IIL and his wife on New 
Year's Day, 1777. 

The baroness thus describes her experience at 
the Court of. England, — 

'' I found the castle very ugly, and furnished in 
old-fashioned style. Ail the ladies and gentlemen 
were stationed in the audience-room. Into this 
room came the king, preceded by three cavaliers. 
The queen followed him, accompanied by a lady 
who carried her train, and a chamberlain. The 
king went round to the right, and the queen to 
the left. Neither passed by any one without say- 
ing something. At the end of the drawing- 
room they met, made each other a profound bow, 
and then returned to the place whence they had 
started. I asked Lady Germaine how I should 
act, and whether the king, as I had heard, kissed 
all the ladies. ' No,' she replied, ' only English 
women and marchionesses ; ' and that all one had 
to do was to remain quietly standing in her place. 
When, therefore, the king came up and kissed me, 
I was greatly amazed, and turned red as fire, since 
it was so entirely unexpected." 

The remarks of the kino^ showed that he was 


familiar with the enterprise of General Rieclescl, 
and of the intended journey of the baroness. 

She left Portsmouth for America, with her chil- 
dren and servants, on April 15, 1777, and arrived 
in the harbor of Quebec on the nth of June. 
There was a booming of guns from all the ships 
in the harbor, firing a salute in honor of her 
arrival, before she realized what it all meant. 
Presently a boat approached the ship to carry 
them ashore. The boat was manned by twelve 
sailors dressed in white, with silver helmets and 
green sashes. With the boat came letters from 
General Reidesel, informing his wife that he had 
been unable to await her arrival at Quebec, and 
had started on the summer campaign with Gen- 
eral Burgoyne. Only remaining long enough at 
Quebec to dine with the wife of General Carleton, 
the baroness with her family took a boat, and pro- 
ceeded up the St. Lawrence, in the hope of over- 
taking her husband. At midnight they landed, 
and took calashes for a drive across the country, 
riding in this way till the following afternoon, 
when they crossed the river, and reached the vil- 
lage of Three Rivers. Here the Hessians had 
been in winter quarters, and General Reidesel 
had left a house prepared for the reception of 
his family. 

The Grand Vicar of the villasre, seeino: the 
baroness's anxiety to join her husband, loaned 
her a covered calash, in which she immediately 


resumed her journey in pursuit of the advancing 
army. And in ■ this manner this refined lady 
and her three young children and servants were 
driven over the rough roads of the country. 

" How touching a picture is this ! A delicate, 
refined woman, accustomed only to the comfort, 
luxury, and shelter of an old civilization in a circle 
of devoted relations and friends, encountering the 
hardships of the wilderness, self-reliant, coura- 
geous, persevering, not for one moment forget- 
ting or neglecting the babes who are dependent 
on her tenderness, even while her whole soul is 
absorbed in that intensity of wifely love and devo- 
tion that renders her regardless of fatigue, pain, 
and repeated disappointment. If we are moved 
with enthusiasm in recalling the valor and self- 
forgetfulness of the patriot in the service of his 
country on the wearying march and amid the 
carnage of the field, may we not be equally stirred 
at a manifestation of heroic endurance and self- 
abnegation in an exercise of the most sublime of 
human emotions, even though it be on the part of 
one who sympathizes with the enemy t " 

After meeting General Riedesel, and spending 
a few days, it became necessary for her to return 
to Three Rivers with the children. They spent 
some weeks at the village of Three Rivers. In 
the meantime the British and German forces had 
met with their successes at Ticonderoga and else- 
where. Major Ackland had been wounded at 


Hubbardston in the encounter with the '' Green 
Mountain Boys," and his wife had been allowed 
to join him. 

This permission led General Burgoyne to turn 
to General Riedesel and say, — 

" Your wife shall come too, General ; despatch 
Captain Willoe to escort her at once." 

They left Three Rivers in a boat ; and after 
some strange experiences with rattlesnakes when 
landing on a small island, and the enjoyment of 
much charming scenery, they reached Fort Ed- 
ward, where they were most gladly received .by 
General Riedesel, and warmly welcomed by the 
commanding officers. 

They spent three happy weeks, a reunited 
family, in the Red House, encircled by the Brit- 
ish and German troops. 

" The weather was beautiful," said the baroness, 
*' and we often took our meals under the trees." 

On the nth of September the army moved 
forward ; and the little family followed them until 
the battle of the 19th, when the baroness and 
her family were obliged to remain at one place, 
meeting the husband and father as often as cir- 
cumstances permitted. At length a house was 
prepared for the family near the camp ; and when 
she was to move into it, an unexpected change 
took place. Said the baroness, "On my way home- 
ward, I met many savages in their war dress 
armed with guns. They cried out, 'War! War!' 


This completely overwhelmed me ; and I had 
scarcely got back to my quarters, when I heard 
skirmishing and firing, which by degrees became 
constantly heavier, until finally the noises were 
frightful." The baroness was expecting to have 
a dinner-party that afternoon, at which the gen- 
erals were to be guests ; but instead, of the party, 
she was called upon to care for one of them. Gen- 
eral Frazer, who was mortally wounded, and died 
soon after. The burial of General Frazer, alluded 
to by my aged friend Mr. Colburn, is here de- 
scribed by the Baroness Riedesel, as she saw it 
from the standpoint of the enemy, whose leader 
he was. '' Many cannon-balls also flew not far 
from me ; but I had my eyes fixed upon the hill, 
where I distinctly saw my husband in the midst 
of the enemy's fire. The clergyman who was offi- 
ciating was frequently covered with dust, which the 
shot threw up on all sides of him." Immediately 
after the funeral a retreat was ordered. Madam 
Riedesel, with children and servants, travelled all 
night in the pouring rain, and camped at Old Sar- 
atoga. The greatest consternation prevailed in 
the army ; the provisions had failed, and the lead- 
ing officers were forced from hunger to beg for a 
morsel from the baroness. Soon the cannonading 
drove them on, and the family sought refuge in a 
house. They were detected in entering the house 
by some of the Americans, who fired at them, and 
believino: that the house was filled with officers, 


continued a heavy fire. Madam Riedesel and her 
children escaped by hiding in the cellar, where 
they sat upon the floor through the entire night, 
while cannon-balls crashed through the walls above 
them. Surrounded by the dead and dying, in 
hourly expectation of attack, this heroic woman 
cared for her children when servants failed, and 
also acted the part of a nurse to the suffering 
about her. After nearly a week of this extremity, 
the surrender came, and the entire army were pris- 
oners of the Americans. 

After the generals of the conquered army had 
been received by General Gates, and the formali- 
ties of surrender had taken place, a messenger 
was sent to the baroness, asking her to join her 
husband, who was a prisoner in the American 
camp. She was met by General Philip Schuyler 
and General Gates, and also Generals Phillips and 
Burgoyne of the surrendered army. General 
Schuyler then took the baroness and her children 
to his own tent, where he showed them much 
hospitality, and later sent them to his home in 
Albany, where they remained three days, when 
the baroness and her children left to join the 
General in the trials of the long captivity. They 
journeyed with the captured army to Cambridge, 
Mass. This beautiful lady, so recently a guest of 
the King of England, and during her entire life 
in Germany surrounded by luxury, was now prac- 
tically a prisoner of war. 


It was in this condition that the Hollis soldier 
saw the family of the Brunswick general. The 
station and wealth of the baroness prevented her 
falling into the condition of the ordinary women 
who followed the army, yet she was subjected to 
many trials that she little anticipated when leaving 
her home at Brunswick. 

The Baroness Riedesel had the society of Lady 
Harriet Ackland during a portion of her camp-life 
in America. She had left her home of luxury in 
England, and accompanied her husband. Major 
Ackland, who was in command of the Grenadiers ; 
but the English officer was captured before the 
Saratoga Convention, hence the two ladies were 
not companions in the prison-life in Massachu- 
setts and Virginia. 

The whole number of prisoners was 5,791. Of 
these 2,412 were Germans and Hessians. The mu- 
nitions captured consisted of 4,647 muskets, 6,000 
dozen cartridges, etc. Among the English pris- 
oners were six members of parliament. The 
journey of three hundred miles was long and 
wearisome. There was nothing to inspire the 
march. On the contrary, it was prison-life for 
all but the officers, who had special privileges, ac- 
cording to the agreement between Burgoyne and 
Gates at the surrender. 










My Stroll about Danvers in quest of hearth- 
stones on which glow the embers of Revolutionary 
days was most abundantly rewarded. In fact, I 
found many homes in this locality where the 
family possession has not been broken from the 
early days of the Colonial period of our history. 
Essex County is remarkably favored in this partic- 
ular. The name of Governor Endicott calls our 
attention to the very beginning of the settlement 
of Salem, and the origin of the Colony of Massa- 
chusetts Bay in 1628. Danvers was formerly 
known as Salem Village, and includes the Endi- 
cott grant. 

Wisely directed, I made my way to the Page 
house in the centre of Danvers. So well kept is 



this home of the Page family that I at first 
thought I must have mistaken the direction ; but 
a glance upward revealed the old-fashioned gambrel 
roof, so pleasantly described by Miss Lucy Lar- 
com, and I was fully assured that I had reached 
the desired house. I was at once given a welcome 

Colonel Jeremiah Page Home, Danvers 

by Miss Annie L. Page, the present owner and 
occupant, and by her supplied with the unques- 
tionable data to which I now invite the attention 
of my readers. 

''This house was built by my grandfather, Colo- 
nel Jeremiah Page, about the year 1750, and has 
always been in our family possession. Here my 
grandparents spent the greater part of their lives ; 


my father, John Page, was born here ; and it is 
still my home. To be sure, there have been some 
alterations and additions from time to time; but 
the same roof-tree has sheltered the three genera- 
tions, and we have sat by the same hearth-stone. 
The beautiful spreading elms in front of the house 
were planted by Jeremiah Page about one hun- 
dred and fifty years ago. Scores of his descendants 
have enjoyed their gracious shade, and been led to 
believe with Emerson, ' God's greatest thought in 
nature is a tree.' " Jeremiah Page, the builder of 
this well-kept house, was the pioneer of brick- 
making in Danvers. He was born in Medford in 
1722, and when about twenty-one years of age was 
invited by Mr. Daniel Andrews to work the clay- 
pits of Danvers. In this way he began the man- 
ufacture of bricks, which he continued to the close 
of his life in 1806. 

Among his large contracts was that of supply- 
ing the bricks for Fort William at Salem, in 1794. 
The young brickmaker married the only daughter 
of Mr. Andrews, who is the heroine of the tea- 
party represented in *' A Gambrel Roof." Here 
Jeremiah Page and Sarah Andrews began their 
married life, and for a century and a half the 
Pages have made a record most creditable to the 

Jeremiah Page early in life acted the part of 
a patriot, and possessing peculiar qualifications 
for leadership was put in military authority in the 


Province. He was commissioned as captain of 
the militia in the year 1773. This was when the 
rumblings of the Revolution were all about them, 
and it required decision of character to fulfil the 
duties of the office. April 27, 1774, he was or- 
dered to take his company to Trask's Hill in 
Salem for military exercise. Up to this time the 
majority of the commissioned officers of the first 
Essex regiment were in sympathy with the gov- 
ernment. Among these Colonel William Brown, 
a member of the Council Board, refused to resign 
in accordance with request, and so the subordi- 
nate officers withdrew. Then was held a meeting 
of the members of the Alarm and Training Bands 
of the third company of Danvers, when Jeremiah 
Page was chosen as captain. This act was in- 
dorsed by a pouplar vote, despite the order from 
the government officials. 

It was at this time that the new governor and 
Captain-general, Thomas Gage, made his appear- 
ance in the Province of Massachusetts Bay, and 
early announced to the Council and gentlemen of 
the House of Representatives that after the first 
of June the seat of government would be trans- 
ferred to Salem ; and consequently, on May 28, 
he adjourned them to meet there on June 7. This 
order was in anticipation of the closing of the 
port of Boston on June i. It was necessary that 
the king's agent should be near the seat of gov- 
ernment, and the demonstration in Boston on the 



first day of the enforcement of the Port Bill may 
have hastened his removal. On the following 
day the royal governor was driven to Danvers, and 
here established his official residence. To be 
located a little distance out in the country was 
the custom with the officers, and Danvers at the 

GovKRXoR r;A(iE".s Office 

beginning of June offered great natural attrac- 
tions. Then, too, it was the residence of Dr. 
Samuel Holton, one of the Council. But the 
country home, with its attractions, was too far 
out ; and the royal governor applied to Jeremiah 
Page for a room in his house to serve him as an 
office. Having taken up his abode in the town 
in a perfectly peaceable manner, this privilege 


was not denied him, and the south front room 
was set off to his use. 

Miss Page told me that her father had often from 
the windows of this room enjoyed looking at the 
harbor filled with sail, and this view may have influ- 
enced the governor in the selection of his office. 

The room, with its present attractions, is a vivid 
reminder of the summer of 1774, when the last 
English governor who served the country trans- 
acted the king's business and smoked his pipe 
within its walls. As this dignified tenant sat in 
his office with sympathizing officials, he had little 
thought that his landlord was dividing the time 
between his brick-yard and the patriot cause ; for 
even then Captain Page was attending secret 
meetings with other patriots, where there was 
plotting against the king and Parliament. 

To one accustomed to hear nothing but evil of 
the king's troops while quartered in and about 
Boston, it is a relief to gather from the lips of 
Danvers people some of their ancestors' personal 
experiences with the soldiers while quartered in 
the town and loitering about the highways. *'The 
conduct of the royal troops is said to have been 
very exemplary ; and grandfather enjoyed the com- 
pany of Governor Gage, although he was not' in 
sympathy with him or the cause which he was 
here to maintain." Another family report, per- 
haps somewhat biassed, is, **The governor was as 
pretty a man in the house as I ever saw." 


Mrs. Fowler, a daughter of Archelaus Putnam 
of Danversport, added her testimony, which is 
kept as a family tradition. 

''In September, 1774, I was in an orchard 
gathering apples when on looking up, I saw two 
English officers, one of whom commenced climb- 
ing over the fence. The other, seeing that I was 
alarmed, said to him, ' Wait till the girl goes 
away ; do not frighten her by entering the or- 
chard yet.' " 

A thrifty farmer whom I chanced to meet and 
engage in conversation when driving his stock of 
cows to the barn, said, " Yes, them soldiers used 
to relieve our folks of the trouble of milking the 
cows, though unfortunately for the owners, they 
appropriated the milk to their own use ; but no 
one could wonder at it. Here they were loafing 
about with little or nothing to do. I wonder they 
didn't do a good many more tricks." 

Seven of these British soldiers died while en- 
camped here, from July 21 to September 5 ; and 
their unmarked graves are still pointed out in a 
field on the south side of Sylvan Street. Perhaps 
they thus escaped a more bloody death on the 
following 19th of April. 

It has been thought that Governor Gage pro- 
vided either a whole or part of the furnishings of 
this room to suit his own liking, and that in his 
somewhat hasty departure he failed to take his 
chairs, which remained in the house for a long 



time, and were known as " Governor Gage's chairs." 
They had green flag seats, and, being but little 
prized, were sold at auction after the death of 
Captain Page. 

Curiosity prompted me to ask this member of 
the Page family for the authenticity of the tea- 
party story, to which the genial lady replied, '' It 

Page Garret, Danvers 

was on my grandfather's return from one of the 
meetings with his patriot friends that he told 
grandmother he had promised to have no more tea 
used in his house, and that she must not have any 
made. One day soon after, when he was away 
from home, two friends came in to spend the after- 
noon, as was the good old custom. The tempta- 
tion, with plenty of tea in the house, was too great. 


Grandmother told her visitors what 2:randfather 
had commanded; but as he had said in and not 
upon the house, she thought they could enjoy 
this tea without disobeying him, and they slyly 
went up and enjoyed some on the roof." 

This little ruse, so cunningly executed by Mrs. 
Page, was lost to the family by the death of the 
good woman, which occurred within a year before 
it was prudent to reveal any secrets of this nature. 
'' It is apparent that grandmother was the only 
member of the family who had a part in the tea- 
drinking, and it was many years before the secret 
was revealed which furnished the impulse for 
writing the well-known centennial poem." 


*' It was some time between the years 1845 and 
'50 that a friend of my mother came to make her 
a visit. She had recently come to Danvers to 
live, and had never been in our house before. 
She begged to go up on the roof, and see the 
place of the secret tea-drinking, which we now 
heard of for the first time. Her mother was one 
of the tea-drinkers, and she had often heard her 
tell the experience. The return to Danvers had 
recalled the incident to her mind, in which we 
were very much interested. I told the story to 
Miss Larcom, who often visited us, and in 1875, 


when the centennial anniversaries were noticed 
as they came around, she wrote a poem upon the 
tea-drinking, of course making liberal use of po- 
etic license." 

It seems that afternoon teas were then in or- 
der ; and Mrs. Page is represented as remonstrat- 
ing against the decree of her husband, saying, — 

" ' I've asked a friend or two to sup, 
And not to offer them a cup 
Would be a sting'y shame.' " 

To which Captain Page replies, — 

" ' Wife, I have promised, so must you, 
None shall drink tea inside my house. 
Your gossip elsewhere must carouse.' " 

The lady courtesied low, — 

" ' Husband, your word is law,' she said, 
But archly turned her well-set head 
With roguish poise toward this old roof, 
Soon as she heard his martial hoof 
Along the highway go." 

The poem then goes on with a description of 
preparations for the tea-party, the arrival of guests, 
and the ascent to the novel place selected for the 
meal. Having reached the elevation, Mrs. Page 
remarks, — 

" ' A goodly prospect, as I said, 

You here may see before you spread. 
Upon a house is not luithiii it; 
But now we must not waste a minute, 
Neighbors, sit down to tea.' 

COLONEL FACE OiV AI'KIL 10, 1775 1 85 

How madam then her ruse explained, 
What mirth arose as sunset waned 
In the close covert of these trees 
No leaf told the reporter breeze ; 

But when the twilight fell, 
And hoof-beats rang down Salem road. 
And up the yard the colonel strode, 
No soul besides the dame and Dill 
Stirred in the mansion dim and still. 

The game was played out well. 
Let whoso chooses settle blame 
Betwixt the colonel and his dame 
Or dame and country. That the view 
Is from the house-top fine, is true." 

It was while sitting by the hearth-stone in Colo- 
nel Page's large armchair, where Governor Gage 
was wont to sit in meditation, and where his op- 
ponents also sat, with the shadow of the second 
generation upon the wall, that I heard from the 
lips of the third generation the story of the 
family's experience on the 19th of April, 1775, — 

*' On the receipt of the alarm my grandfather 
made haste to rally his men, and they were early 
on the road to intercept the enemy. His com- 
pany was one of three of Danvers militia belong- 
ing to the Essex Regiment, under the superior 
command of Colonel Timothy Pickering of Salem. 
There were in grandfather's company thirty-seven 
officers and men. In obedience to the orders of 
a superior officer, grandfather and a part of his 
men were not in the thickest of the fight at Me- 
notomy ; but his eldest son, my Uncle Samuel, had 


a very different experience to report. His father 
had told him that morning before the start that 
he must stay at home and take care of his mother. 
His youthful blood was hot. He had seen Gov- 
ernor Gage walk in and out of this house as if he 
were here in possession, had watched the move- 
ments of the troops which came to town to pro- 
tect him in his royal authority, and he could not 
be dissuaded from going. He and other Danvers 
men stationed themselves in the yard of Jason 
Russell.^ In this yard were many bundles of 
shingles, indicating that the proprietor was about 
to shingle his house. With these they made a 
sort of barricade, and inside of the enclosure they 
prepared to attack the British soldiers. When 
the main column came dov/n the highway, they 
began firing without thought of the flanking party, 
and from this they were great sufferers. As 
Uncle Samuel was driving a cartridge into his 
gun, he broke his wooden ramrod, and turning to 
Perley Putnam, asked him to lend his. At that 
instant a ball from the rear guard of the British 
shot Putnam dead. When they saw they were 
discovered and surrounded, they made a desperate 
struggle for life, and some of them escaped un- 
harmed. Uncle Samuel being one of the more 
fortunate ones. 

Danvers had eight companies which responded 
to the Lexington alarm. They numbered fully 

1 See " Beneath Old Roof Trees " for house and story. 


three hundred men ; but we should bear in mind 
that the Danvers of 1775 was a very large town, 
including, besides the present town known by 
that name, that now set off as Peabody. With 
the exception of the militia already mentioned, 
these companies were minute-men and Alarm 
Lists organized by the authority of the Congress 
in anticipation of the difficulty. Some of these 
companies seemed to be made up with regard to 
the neighborly associations of the members. The 
messenger apparently first aroused the people of 
the south part of the town, now Peabody, whence 
it was carried with great rapidity throughout the 
entire territory, and a response was immediately 
made. "From field and mill, from farm and shop, 
from parsonage and humble dwelling," they set 
forth to their country's defence : — 

" Swift as the summons came they left 
The plough, mid furrow, standing still. 
The half-ground corn-grist in the mill, 
The spade in earth, the axe in cleft. 

They went where duty seemed to call, 
They scarcely asked the reason why; 
They only knew they could but die, 
And death was not the worst of all." 

It was Samuel Epes's^ company that suffered 
the most. They belonged in the south part of 

1 For Captain Epes's first service in the Revolution, see page 18 
of "Beneath Old Roof Trees." 


the town. When the alarm was given, Captain 
Epes made haste to Salem, and obtained from 
his Colonel permission to march in advance of his 
regiment. They made the journey to Menotomy, 
sixteen miles, in four hours. Gideon Foster, later 
general, who had been a member of this company, 
appeared in the capacity of captain over a portion 
of Epes's men, acting as a separate company ; but 
the brave acts of these squads cannot be well sep- 
arated ; five of the young men were killed. 

The other losses were from Captain Israel 
Hutchinson's company, which numbered fifty-three 
officers and privates. They were from Danvers- 
port and Beverly. Two were killed, and some 
were wounded. Joseph Bell was taken prisoner 
and carried to Boston, and kept on an English 
frigate for two months. At the expiration of two 
days the Danvers men returned to their homes, to 
mingle their tears with , those who were saddened 
by the day's experience. The bodies of the slain 
were taken to their homes, and later interred with 
appropriate ceremonies ; those belonging to Israel 
Hutchinson's company being first taken to his 
house, which stood until a recent date where the 
railway station is now located at Danversport. 

Israel Hutchinson was nearly fifty years of age 
at the opening of the Revolution, and had repeat- 
edly proved his bravery by fighting for the king. 
He fought at Lake George and Ticonderoga in 
1758. In the following year was with Wolfe when 


he scaled the Heights of Abraham, and routed the 
French under Montcalm. Thus, with age and ex- 
perience on his side, he entered the service of the 
patriots to the credit of his native town. He was 
early in the Revolution raised to the rank of a 
colonel. He was in the siege of Boston, and after 
the evacuation occupied Fort Hill, and was sent 
to New York in the following October. He was 
afterwards in command of Fort Lee and Fort 
Washington, and crossed the Delaware with Wash- 
ington in his retreat through New Jersey, and re- 
ceived the approbation of the father of his country. 
His love of country was manifested after the war 
in faithful service in the Legislature of his State 
and in many positions of honor and trust. 

As Danvers was not on the enemy's line of 
march, there was no great haste to bury the dead, 
so the ordinary funeral rites were observed. Two 
companies from Salem performed escort duty. 
'' With reversed arms, muffled drums, and measured 
steps, they led the long procession. On the way 
they were met by a band of soldiers from Newbury- 
port, Salisbury, and Amesbury, marching to join 
the army besieging Boston. These formed in single 
ranks on each side of the road, and the mournful 
procession passed between them. After the bodies 
were deposited, three volleys were fired over their 
graves, but they could not rouse the slumberers. 
No din of resounding arms, no alarms of war, no 
convulsions of nature, can disturb them. Nothing 



but the voice of the archangel and the trump of 
God — 

' Can reach the peaceful sleepers there.' " 

Thus Danvers lost seven of her strong, promis- 
ing young men, one-seventh of the whole number 
of the Americans slain that day, 
the largest number of any town, 
with the exception of Lexington. 
A monument to their memory 
was erected in 1835, on the six- 
tieth anniversary of the battle. 
An address was made by General 
Foster, one of the survivors of 
the battle, of whom there were 
nineteen in attendance. 

The inscription is as follows. 
On the east side: — 

Battle of Lexington, April 19, 1775. 

Samuel Cook, aged -t^Z years ; Benj. Daland, 25 ; George South- 
wick, 25 ; JoTHAM Webb, 22 ; Henry Jacobs, 22 ; Ebenr. 


Citizens of Danvers fell on that day. 

Dulce et decorum est jpro patria tnori. 

( It is sweet and honorable to die for one's country. ) 

On the reverse side : — 

Erected by Citizens of Danvers on the 6oth Anniversary, 


By the subsequent division of the town, this 
monument is to be seen in Peabody. The granite 


shaft seems hardly in keeping with its present sur- 
roundings, but more in harmony with the build- 
ings seen on that square sixty years ago. Prom- 
inent among them was the Old Bell Tavern, so 
called from the wooden representation of a bell 
which hung from the sign-post. On this was in- 
scribed : — 

I'll toll you in, if you have need, 
And feed you well, and bid you speed. 

The house was formerly a place of common re- 
sort, being on the great thoroughfare from the 
east and north to Boston. Here the Salem Regi- 
ment, under Colonel Timothy Pickering, halted 
for refreshment on their march to Bunker Hill 
on the 17th of June, 1775. Their delay aroused, 
Mrs. Anna Endicott, a patriotic woman, to repri- 
mand the colonel in her characteristic manner, 
*' Why on earth don't you march ? Don't you hear 
the guns in Charlestown } " 

''This was the place for the villagers to learn 
the news of passing events, for every traveller was 
expected to furnish his quota. It was the village 
exchange, where prices and every-day gossip were 
discussed, and the public affairs of the Colonies and 
the mother country settled. Here, too, on Sunday 
the more remote villagers dismounted from their 
horses at the old block, and walked to the meeting- 
house ; again to return, after the two hours' sermon, 
and partake, in a snug corner, of a dinner from 


their well-filled saddle-bags. This was also the 
place where the people met to celebrate public 

'' The loyal neighbors here collected to mourn 
the demise of the good Queen Anne, and rejoice 
in the accession of the first George. His depar- 
ture and the rise of his son George 11. were here 
commemorated over the same bowl of punch. 
George III. was also welcomed with a zeal that 
was only equalled by that with which they drank 
confusion to his ministers. The odious Stamp 
Act and all Parliament taxes on the Colonies were 
patriotically denounced." In fact, all the various 
acts of the town of Danvers were freely discussed 
in this house, which is still remembered by the 
old people. 

" Nothinsf created a o:reater disturbance there 
than the tea-meeting of May 28, 1770, when Dr. 
Amos Putnam was moderator, and a committee 
was chosen ' upon ye public grievance as to ye 
duty on tea.' Besides agreeing to the non-impor- 
tation Act, it was also voted not to drink foreign 
tea, or to allow their families to indulge in the 
beverage until the act of Parliament imposing a 
duty upon it was repealed, etc. (cases of sickness 
excepted). A committee was chosen to carry 
copies of these votes to every household. All 
persons who refused to sign these copies were to 
be branded as enemies to the liberties of the peo- 
ple, and their names were to be registered accord- 


ingly. Any one detected selling tea was to be 
branded as a Tory, and given a ride on a rail. The 
keeper of the tavern, Isaac Wilson, was convicted, 
but reprieved from his sentence by furnishing the 
villagers with an ample bucket of punch, and pub- 
licly repeating a couplet prepared for him." We 
can hardly appreciate the condition of society, 
when a proud landlord is forced to bow his high 
head, and repeat, — 

I, Isaac Wilson, a Tory be, 
I, Isaac Wilson, I sells tea. 


*' A man convinced against his will 
Is of the same opinion still; " 

and I am inclined to the belief that the Danvers 
landlord was of that class. 

Leaving the site of the Bell Tavern and the old 
burying-ground near by, where sleep the brave 
who died for their country in 1775, I invite my 
readers to seek out with me homes that still exist, 
as when grandsires of the present owners gathered 
their families about the same hearth-stones, and 
there by the light of the pine torch or tallow dip 
taught lessons of true patriotism. 









Under the escort of Rev. Alfred P. Putnam, a 
noted son of Danvers, we leave the centre of the 
town by the great road to Topsfield, and soon 
come to the birthplace of General Moses Porter. 
It stands a little back from the modern highway, 
and faces confidently to the south. In these 
rooms we may well linger, and ponder the story 
of the Revolution. Patriots of both sexes have 
been cradled here, and have left an indelible im- 
pression upon the minds of all who thoughtfully 
pass through these great square rooms. It was 
originally the home of the Rea family, one of 
whom. Dr. Caleb Rea, was a surgeon in a regi- 
ment in the expedition against Ticonderoga. His 
sister Sarah married Benjamin Porter; and they 
were the parents of Moses Porter, born in 1756, 


who became a distinguished general in both wars 
with England. Although but nineteen years of 
age at the opening of the Revolution, this man 
made an enduring record. At the battle of Bun- 
ker Hill, in the artillery company of Captain Trev- 
ett, when but nine men stood by the captain, 
Moses Porter was one of them, and displayed su- 
perior skill in the management of one of the field 
pieces. He served in Captain Thomas Foster's 
company during the siege of Boston, was made 
lieutenant in 1780, and received promotions until 
he was head of that arm of the service. Wounds 
he received, but they never deterred him from 
remaining in service until his death in 1822. Gen- 
eral Porter was wedded to his country ; no other 
bride ever received his affections ; for her he was 
willing to sacrifice his life, and on her bosom he 
fell asleep. 

" How sleep the brave who sink to rest 
By all their country's wishes blest!" 

Over his grave, in a secluded spot, stands a 
modest slab on which is read, — 



An ardent and inflexible patriot, a brave and honorable soldier, an unas- 
suming and virtuous citizen, a generous and faithful friend. He 
served his country with distinguished abihty and reputa- 
tion, from the commencement of the Revolu- 
tionary war till he expired, full of 
years and honors, on the 
14th of April, A.D., 1822 vE. 66. 


From the old garret of the Porter house have 
been gathered many of the general's military pa- 
pers and private correspondence, and from these 
it is hoped there will yet be prepared an adequate 
volume to the memory of a great man. Among 
these letters is found evidence of the patriotic 
part taken by his sister Sarah in her knitting and 
sewing for his comfort, and for that of his soldiers. 
Sarah Porter was but one of hundreds of her sex 
who acted well a noble part in the great struggle 
for the independence which we now enjoy. 

Those who claim for Moses Porter a more im- 
posing monument may find it in the great bowlder 
at the rear of his paternal mansion. Standing 
upon it, I could see in fancy his tiny bare feet 
climbing over its rugged sides, and the little group 
gathered there by the tired mother, who, coming 
out for rest, had taken the opportunity to impress 
helpful lessons upon the youthful minds intrusted 
to her care. 

This bowlder, towering above all others, seems 
to typify the man, who, in his firmness of purpose 
and inflexibility of character, stood out alone and 
above others, and when confronted by duty acted 
as though saying, — 

" Come one, come all, this rock shall fly 
From its firm base as soon as I." 

Leaving the Porter House, in which my guide 
has a family interest, we pass on to the Putman 


house, on the paternal homestead of Rev. Alfred 
Porter Putnam, the guide for the hour. It is 
reached by a drive from the highway through well- 
cultivated grounds. The house is typical of its 
period, made picturesque by a large tree in front 
and a small one at a corner. " From here," said 
my guide, *' went my great-grandfather, Deacon 
Edmund Putman, at the head of his company of 
seventeen neighbors on the 19th of April, 1775." 

But before tracing out the footprints of these 
minute-men, let us consider for a moment the 
origin of the house. It is supposed to have been 
built by Daniel Rea, the head of that family in 
this country ; and after its possession by three 
generations of the name it was purchased by Ed- 
mund Putman, who carried on the trades of tailor 
and farmer. As a testimonial of his honest deal- 
ing and good standing with his neighbors, we find 
that in 1762 he was chosen deacon of the First 
Church, in which position he served twenty-three 
years. '* My grandsire was chosen captain of the 
Alarm List of the third company in this town on 
the 6th of March, 1775. Rev. Benjamin Balch 

was chairman of the meeting. The vote for 
grandfather was unanimous, and also that for lieu- 
tenant and sergeant, the former being for Rev. 
Mr. Balch, and the latter for Tarrant Putnam." 

In this house, now occupied by the sixth gen- 
eration from Edmund Putnam, though of a differ- 
ent name (Fowler), we catch glimpses of the fading 


scenes of the days of trial. Here met in council 
the minister, the deacon, and faithful churchmen, 
and from here they went out to act the part of 
Christian patriots. 

Other ministers of Danvers used their influence 
in the patriot cause. Mr. Holt of the Middle Pre- 
cinct (Peabody) was known to say, '' I had rather 
liv^e on potatoes than submit." He supplied him- 
self with a musket, and drilled with Captain Epes's 
company. Mr. Wadsworth of the village parish 
was very ardent, and was seen at the North River 
Bridge, Salem, with his musket in hand ; and to 
his words of persuasion more than all else is doubt- 
less due the escape from the first slaughter. 

In the March following, Captain Putnam was 
unanimously chosen as selectman, and also as an 
assessor. This was at a time when these officers 
in any town called for the exercise of the best of 
mature judgment. He was also a member of the 
committee in 1778 to consider the report of a form 
of government. 

But Deacon Edmund was only one of many 
Putnams of Danvers who responded to the Lex- 
ington alarm. The returns show that thirty-four 
of the name marched from Danvers, and had some 
part in that day's struggle. As we have already 
seen, Perley Putnam was killed, and his brother 
Nathan was wounded. 

Note. — A newspaper of those times furnishes evidence of the 
efforts made to recover fire-arms lost by the Provincials on April 19, 


thus proving the scarcity of munitions of war. From the Nezv Eng- 
land Chronicle ox ihe Essex Gazelle of May 29, 1775, is gathered the 
following: " Lost in the battle of Menotomy by Nathan Putnam, of 
Capt. Hutchinson's Company, who was there badly wounded, a 
French Firelock, marked D. No. 6, with a marking iron, on the 
Breech. Said Putnam carried it to a Cross Road, near a mill. 
Whoever has said Gun in Poffeffion is defired to return it to Col. 
Manftield of Lynn, or to the Selectmen of Danvers, and he shall 
be rewarded for his trouble." 

While this town was the place of the first Put- 
nam settlement, the name was by no means con- 
fined to Danvers when Provincial government was 
overthrown. Eighty-six names, all of Danvers 
line, are recorded at the State House as turning 
out on April. 19 ; and within two centuries from 
the time the first John drove his bounds in Dan- 
vers, about thirty-five hundred of his descendants 
were abroad in the land. Coming in to the Putnam 
headquarters, we are inclined to halt at a modern 
house on this old farm, better known as *'Oak 
Knoll," the home of the lamented Quaker bard. 
But it is to the birthplace of General Israel Put- 
nam that we are making our way. Witch houses, 
Rebecca Nourse and Giles Corey, must not allure 
us from our course. 

What school-boy does not open his eyes and 
prick up his ears at the mere mention of " Old 
Put " } But my own confession is, that I had al- 
most fallen into the habit of regarding this man 
as a sort of monster, struggling in a dim mythical 
haze ; but when I turned in at the open gate, and 


Stood at the threshold of the birthplace of that 
hero, I came fully to my senses. Oh, how re- 
freshing it is, in these days of constant changes 
in ownership of real estate, to find this home still 
retained by the family ! Our knock at the front 
door met with a response from one by the name 
of Putnam, as did that of guests a century and 
a half ago, when the young man Israel walked 
in and out the same doorway. The genuine old- 
school lady, by word and smile, extended a cordial 
welcome ; and we were at once assured by the 
words of Miss Susan Putnam that she was of the 
seventh generation of the family on that farm. 
The line is John, Thomas, Joseph, David, Israel, 
Daniel, and Susan, who furnished the information. 
The front and more modern part, which first 
meets the eye of the visitor, was built in 1744; 
while that in the rear, with its own front door, is 
supposed to date back to 1650. The part most 
prominent in the cut was the original house, built 
by Thomas, grandfather of Israel. It was while 
the northeast blasts were piling up the January 
snows of 1 71 8 that in the upper room of this 
humble home the boy Israel was born. Joseph 
and Elizabeth (Porter) Putnam were the happy 
parents. This son was nearly a month old before 
he was taken to the meeting-house for the rite of 
baptism. The unusual delay may be accounted 
for by a desire of the mother to accompany the 
father to the altar of baptism ; but more likely was 


the result of the very severe weather of that 
month, which Cotton Mather describes as fol- 
lows : — 

" Another snow came on which ahnost buried ye Memory 
of ye former, with a storm so famous that Heaven laid an 
Interdict on ye Religious Assemblies throughout ye Country, 
on this Lord's day, ye like whereunto had never been seen 
before. The Indians near an hundred years old, affirm that 
their Fathers never told them of anything that equalled it.'' 

Turning back to that Sabbath morning of early 
February, we can see the family horse led up to 
the door of the home, the mother take her seat on 
the pillion, with the babe carefully wrapped in its 
bearing-cloth in her arms, and the father mount 
to his seat in front, take up the reins, and start 
off to the meeting-house. They make their way 
slowly, for the path is rough indeed, cut out of 
the great banks of snow which are piled in heaps 
on either side. 

What a scene is this when the devoted parents, 
shivering from the ride, enter the cold, barnlike 
meeting-house, and carry their babe to the altar, 
their frozen shoes clatterino: on the rouirh boards 
of the broad aisle, telling the measure of each 
step as they go. While the mother unwraps the 
babe, the father makes known by gentle whisper 
the name selected for his last born, and the Rev. 
Peter Clark cracks the ice in the christening 
basin, dips his fingers to the water, and laying 
them upon the innocent brow, says, " Israel, I 


baptize thee in the name of the Father, and of the 
Son, and of the Holy Ghost, Amen." Surely with 
the treatment of the babes of those days there 
was a continuous example of the survival of the 
fittest. Born of the best of New England stock, 
and of parents accustomed to hardships, and en- 
during this early test, the boy Israel grew and de- 
veloped a marvellous physical activity and power 
of endurance, which served him well, and enabled 
him to do at the age of threescore what the ordi- 
nary man of forty years would quail beneath. 

Desirous of entering the house by the door of 
Israel's day, we made our way out and around to 
the front door of long ago, and crossed the thresh- 
old familiar to his restless feet. Up the narrow 
staircase we went, and into the room where the 
child first saw the light. A board partition makes 
two apartments of the original room, but there 
can be no mistake as to the part in question; 
for there is the open fireplace, with its smutty 
back, and the rude fire-dogs, as when the flames 
crackled on the hearth, and rolled up the chimney 
to mingle with the wintry blast of 171 8. There 
are the rough-hewn posts at the corners, and thick 
projecting beams overhead, with no attemjDt at 
disguise. There is little else here that is tangible 
to remind us of him whom we delight to honor as 
Major-General Israel Putnam ; but as we love the 
hard-handed yeomanry who formed the real back- 
bone of the Revolution, so we love to linger on 


the ground which their feet have trodden, and 
hear from the lips of one of the seventh genera- 
tion the stories confirmed which we have often 
heard before. 

'* Robust and full of energy, he was a boy given 
to sports, and to feats of strength and daring, 
often the champion of courageous exploits, all of 
which were somewhat prophetic of his more ex- 
traordinary powers and achievements in maturer 

Much of Israel's boyhood was spent in Boxford, 
at the home of his stepfather, where perhaps the 
school advantages were no better than those of 
Danvers, and the boy's education was defective. 
When he had reached the age proper for him to 
set up for himself, he returned to the old home- 
stead, and settled on a portion of the farm, and 
built a small house, the cellar of w^hich still 
remains. He married, July 19, 1739, Hannah, 
daughter of Joseph and Mehitable (Putnam) Pope, 
and the young couple established a home for them- 
selves, adding another to the then almost score of 
Putnam homes. After the birth of a son Israel, 
the young couple, seized with the spirit of adven- 
ture, with many others set out for broader fields ; 
and the remainder of the story of '' Old Put " will 
be found in another connection in this series. 

The great willow-tree standing in the yard re- 
minds us of many changes since Israel Putnam 
left the homestead. It was planted by a slave of 


the family, who is still remembered for her faith- 
fulness, although she has been sleeping for many 
years with those whom she served. 

The Putnams who remain at the old home are 
descendants of David, brother of General Israel, 
and none of his line of the family have ever set- 
tled in Danvers ; but they are numerous in the 
world, a large group of them being found in Bed- 
ford, Mass. We will now make a digression to 
hear the story by a great-granddaughter of General 
Israel Putnam, Mrs. Mary ( Waldo ) Webber. 

She was born at Pomfret, Conn., August 15, 
1807. She is the daughter of John Augustus 
Gleason and Elizabeth Waldo, and granddaughter 
of Samuel Waldo and Mary ( Molly ) daughter of 
General Israel Putnam. 

A large part of Mrs. Webber's life has been 
spent in Bedford, — the town where Israel, a cousin 
of the general, settled about the time that the 
Connecticut home was established, the same spirit 
of adventure having actuated both this one who 
settled in Bedford and the one who went to Con- 
necticut to leave the Danvers settlement. The 
Bedford people remember their Israel Putnam 
with pride ; for he was a selectman at the begin-- 
ning of the town, and one of the first deacons of 
the church, and a benefactor of the new settle- 

It was early in the present century that the 
Gleason branch of the Putnam family made its 


way to Bedford, Lewis Putnam Gleason being the 
pioneer at this time. 

Mrs. Webber spent some of her girlhood with 
her grandmother, Elizabeth Waldo. Her longing 

Mary (Waldo) Webber, Great Granddaughter of "Old Put" 

for amusement was gratified, when sitting at the 
old hearth-stone with her grandmother, by listen- 
ing to the stories treasured in the family of the 
wolf-hunter, the Indian fighter, and the hero of 
Bunker Hill. 



As Told on Her Eighty-Ninth Birthday. 

" Yes, I keep old grandfather's picture hanging 
in my room. It seems but yesterday that I sat by 
the side of Grandmother Waldo, for whom I was 
named, and heard her tell of the trials of Grand- 
father Putnam. Those of the Indian wars and 
the wolves charmed me much ; and I often found 
the tears running down my cheeks, as I hid my 
head beneath her apron, when she told of the hair- 
breadth escapes from the savages. I suppose he 
had the fight born in him ; for when but a boy he 
first displayed it in Boston, whither he had gone 
on a visit. He was doubtless dressed in the coarse 
cloth spun and woven at the old home in Danvers, 
and probably looked rather queer in the eyes of 
those sons of wealthy merchants and office-holders 
of the Province. They began to pick upon him. 
He bore it for a while, but at length challenged 
one of the brilliantly attired youths, twice his size, 
and vanquished him, to the great amusement of a 
crowd of people who looked on to see the rustic's 

"My ancestor's Connecticut home was at Pom- 
fret, known as Brooklyn since 1783. He had just 
started in as a pioneer, and was laboring hard to 
clear some land bought of Governor Jonathan 

Scions of Putnam Tree 

1. Harold Augustus Gleason. 

2. Clifford Raymond Gleason. 

3- Carrie Putnam Webber. 

4- Paul Baron Webber. 

5. Marcus Bernard Webber. 

6. Lewis Gleason Webber. 

7. Ruth Isabel Gleason. 

8. Jennie Frances Gleason. 

9. Lewis Edward Pierce. 
ID. Bertha Gleason Pierce. 

II. Marie Withington Gleason. 

12. Dorothy Stearns Gleason, 

13. Gertrude Evelyn Gleason. 

14. Arthur Lewis Gleason. 

15. Prudence Markham. 

16. Waldo Wood Gleason. 


Belcher. He had a family to care for, and it was 
annoying to have his sheep continually carried 
off by wolves. In one night he had a large flock 
of sheep and goats killed, besides many lambs and 
kids wounded. This was done by a she-wolf, 
which, with her whelps, had for several years in- 
fested the locality. The young were commonly 
destroyed by hunters, but the old one was too 
cunning for them, 

"At leno;th o-randfather and others formed a 
company to hunt in turns until they should kill 
the old enemy. It was known that, having lost 
the toes from one foot by a steel trap, she made 
one track shorter than the other. This betrayed 
her route on the snow. She was driven into a 
den a little distance from grandfather's house. 
The folks came together with dogs, guns, straw, 
fire, and sulphur to attack her. The hounds went 
in, and came out in a bleeding condition. The 
smoke of burning straw did not start her, and the 
fumes of brimstone were to no purpose. 

"At length, tired of all this, grandfather pro- 
posed to his negro man to go down in and shoot 
her ; but he refused to comply, so grandfather de- 
cided to go, and went regardless of the protests of 
his companions. He knew wild animals did not 
like a close contact with fire, so he stocked him- 
self with birch bark, and prepared for the attack. 
He threw off his coat and waistcoat, and having 
a long rope fastened around his legs, by which he 


might be pulled back^ he entered head foremost, 
with blazing torch in hand. 

'' He went in, and down, and soon saw the eyes 
of the beast glaring at him. Startled at the ap- 
proach of the flaming torch, she gnashed her teeth 
and growled. He then gave a signal to the men 
at the end of the rope, who pulled him out so 
rapidly as to strip off his garments, and some 
flesh as well. But with his gun loaded with nine 
buckshots, and torch in hand, he retraced the 
course. He fired and killed the animal, was pulled 
out, and after reviving from almost suffocation, he 
went in a third time, and the creature was taken 

"Grandfather had some trying experiences in 
the French and Indian wars, but he awed the 
savages so they dared not kill him. They thought 
he had a charmed life, and called him * a god or 
a devil,' they could not tell which. By his ser- 
vices against the French and their Canadian and 
Indian allies, he acquired a good reputation as a 
soldier and a hero ; and so he had gained many 
honors from the authorities of Connecticut, and 
entered the service of the Revolution with his 
well-earned popularity." 






Washington's letter to major lowe. — 

major-general gideon foster. list of 

eight danvers companies 

After the digression of the previous chapter, 
made in order to follow the life of Israel Putnam, 
we now turn again to listen to Rev. Alfred P. Put- 
nam, our Danvers guide, and learn of the King 
Hooper house. 

" The Hon. Robert Hooper was a wealthy mer- 
chant and acknowledged autocrat of Marblehead. 
He had become weary of his limited surround- 
ings, pushed out into the country, and spent 
a portion of his rapidly accumulating wealth in 
building a princely residence. The site is a part 
of the twenty acres formerly laid out to Governor 
Endicott, who, like Governor John Winthrop, al- 
ways was on the lookout for desirable lands, and 
became the possessor of thousands of acres. This 
house was built about 1770, and here the merchant 


set up his home with the expectation of spending 
his last years in the quiet of Danvers, and in the 
full enjoyment of his abundance. This is the home 
to which reference has already been made, where 
Governor Gage found a cordial welcome when 
moving out of Boston in June, 1774. The patriotic 
people of this town were not well pleased with 
the coming of the governor, yet there was some- 
thing interesting to them in the splendor which 
attended his presence among them." 

Mr. Putnam resumed by saying, " At the time 
of the coming of this Marblehead merchant into 
our midst, there was little afifinity between our 
grandparents and any one who favored the Stamp 
Act. But Robert Hooper was rated as very hon- 
est and kind-hearted, and they received him with 
becoming grace. When he opened his doors to 
the royal governor, who was here to force our 
people to submit to the obnoxious acts of Parlia- 
ment, the farmers began to look upon their new 
neighbor as a Loyalist, which he proved to be ; and 
his name was reported to the town as one of those 
inimical to the cause of their country." 

According to Drake, this mansion is one of the 
best specimens of later Colonial architecture in ex- 
istence, and we readily accept the decision. The 
massive building has an elegant front door leading 
into the hall. This extends the whole length of 
the house, with doors on either side into extensive 
apartments. The house is surmounted by a gam- 


brel roof with an ornamental balustrade at the 
top. It is of wood ; but the front is set off in 
panelling so as to represent stone, and painted 
a cold gray, which adds to the deception. In fact, 
the old mansion bears a strong resemblance to 
the stone Hancock house which formerly stood on 
Beacon Street, Boston. The Hooper house is set 
back from the highway, surrounded by spacious, 
well-kept grounds, and approached by shaded ave- 
nues. The beautiful trees have already afforded 
a name for the historic place, '' The Lindens." 
If, as the Slavonians imagined, the goddess of 
love ever dwelt in this variety of tree, we fancy 
she was not in power at this place during the 
stay of Governor Gage. 

The public is indebted to the Peabody family 
for the restoration and preservation of this Co- 
lonial mansion, which the proud builder never 
enjoyed after the Revolution. Even a public re- 
nunciation of his Loyalist principles did not fully 
reinstate him in the confidence of his neighbors. 
His business was ruined, and his fortune wasted, 
so that he died a poor man. 

Through the courtesy of Mr. and Mrs. Francis 
Peabody, we were given a welcome to the house, 
and roamed about under the direction of our guide, 
familiar to each well-kept apartment. The elabo- 
rate carvings and adornments remind one of other 
houses of the time, where once dwelt those proud 
families derisively spoken of as Tories ; yet they 


were doubtless conscientious in their adherence 
to the Crown, but were, nevertheless, ruthlessly 
driven from their homes. While the furnishings 
of each apartment call forth our admiration, they 
cannot blind us to those memories which now 
become a greater reality than ever before. 

At this hearth-stone we see the clear flame of 
loyalty fade away to smouldering embers, and at 
length become entirely extinguished. Through 
the spacious hall below and above, and over the 
gently ascending staircase, we trace the foot- 
steps of Governor Thomas Gage. We see him 
in the drawing-room surrounded by his admirers, 
among whom is his private secretary, Thomas 
Flucker, father-in-law of General Henry Knox. 
We watch him as, with anxiety stamped upon his 
brow, he paces these rooms in waiting for the 
troops ordered from Castle William in Boston 
Harbor. It must be that he has detected signs 
of dissatisfaction, and concludes that his personal 
safety depends upon an armed force. He has 
heard that the General Court in session has ap- 
pointed five delegates to Philadelphia, taken steps 
to aid the suffering people in Boston, and also 
determined to cut off all importations of British 
goods. He has sent his secretary with a procla- 
mation dissolving the Court, but to his surprise he 
finds that Samuel Adams and his associates had 
already dissolved it without the governor's aid ; 
and thus ended the last General Court under a 


royal governor in the Massachusetts Bay Colony. 
How much of this Governor Gage apprehended 
while pacing these rooms we do not know ; but 
from the press of that time we learn : "■ Last Thurs- 
day two companies of the 64th Regiment arrived 
here from Castle William. The next day they 
landed, and marched through the town on the way 
to his Excellency's seat, near which they are now 

As we leave the mansion, and pass down the 
avenue, we see in front of us, on the opposite side 
of the road, the camping-ground of the redcoats, 
who were there as the governor's guard. King 
Hooper's neighbors were not entirely ignorant of 
military life ; but when they saw the sentinels pa- 
cing back and forth on their own highway, and 
saw the camp-fires of an enemy kindled within view 
of their own homes, they began more earnestly to 
stock up with bullets and cartridges, clean up the 
old muskets, and sharpen the rusty swords which 
for a time had been turned into pruning-hooks. 

But it was the people over at Salem who caused 
Gage the greatest anxiety. They utterly disre- 
garded his proclamation, and, in fact, ordered him 
to leave the town. Strange conduct, we may say, 
for a people towards their governor : but we must 
bear in mind that they had no voice in his ap- 
pointment ; and while there was nothing disagree- 
able or despotic in him personally, he was the 
local representative of the despised king across 


the water. The governor's stay in the country 
was cut short ; and on Saturday, August 27, 1774, 
he left his Danvers home, soon followed by the 
guard, who broke camp, and marched over the road 
to Boston. 

The most vivid reminder of the days of Gov- 
ernor Gage at the Hooper mansion is the bullet- 
hole in the now abandoned front door. The good 
people of Danvers have different stories in regard 
to this ; but the more common belief is that when 
Provincial troops were marching by the mansion, 
some of the boys in homespun seized upon the 
lead ornaments of the gate-posts, when the master 
of the house opened the door, and remonstrated in 
plain language, to which they replied with a reck- 
less shot, which left its mark in the door, and 
there still remains. 

In leaving the temporary abode of Governor 
Gage and the camping-ground of his guard, we 
instinctively turn to the home of Judge Samuel 
Holton,^ who, although an undoubted Whig, did 
much to prevent an outbreak among his neighbors 
when the royal governor was in the town of Dan- 
vers. How different are the feelings of the vis- 
itor when crossing the threshold of the Holton 
house from those experienced at the Hooper man- 
sion. No one can doubt the patriotism of the oc- 

1 Joseph Holton was the first of the family to settle in Salem 
Village, Danvers, He was succeeded by Henry, Samuel Sr., and 
Samuel Jr., who was better known as Doctor or Judge Holton. 


cupants here from the earliest clays of the family 
possession. The house is thought to have been 
built about the year 1650, and passing in family 
succession was the home of Samuel of the fourth 
generation, who was born here in 1738, and was 
a practising physician in the town when troubles 
with the mother country began to take form. He 
was their representative in the General Court for 
the year 1768, and was chosen to join a conven- 
tion of delegates from the towns of the Province, 
to be held in Fanueil Hall on the twenty-second 
day of September. This lasted several days, dur- 
ing which the difficulties between the Colonies and 
the mother country were freely discussed. Dr. 
Holton had an active part in this convention, 
called by vote of a Boston town meeting without 
authority of the royal government. We find him 
also on the town's Committee of Correspondence, 
and may well conclude that this old house was the 
scene of many interesting discussions, where none 
but patriots gathered familiarly about this hearth- 

The discipline which was undertaken to be 
maintained by Governor Gage's guard is inferred 
from the record that "■ near the encampment was 
a large oak-tree, afterwards known as King 
George's whipping-post. When the frigate Essex 
was built in Salem, the tree was felled ; and on 
hewing the timber the iron staple to which the 
soldiers had been confined for punishment was 


found inbedded in the wood. King George's 
whipping-post was converted into the stern-post 
of the Essex frigate." 

Very soon after the departure of Gage and his 
troops from this neighborhood, the people of the 
town assembled and instructed their representa- 
tive, Dr. Holton, as follows : — 

Sir, — As we have now chosen you to Represent us in the 
Great and General Court to be holden in Salem on Wednes- 
day the 5th day of October next ensuing : we do hereby In- 
struct you that in all your doings as a member of the House 
of Representatives, you adhere firmly to the Charter of this 
Province granted by their Majesties King William and Queen 
Mary, and that you do no act which can be possibly con- 
strued into an Acknowledgment of the Act of the British Par- 
liament for Altering the government of Massachusetts Bay, 
more especially that you acknowledge the Honorable Board 
of Counsellors Elected by the General Court at their session 
in May last, as the only rightful and constitutional Council of 
this Province. And as we have Reason to believe that a 
Conscientious Discharge of your Duty will produce your Dis- 
solution as an House of Representatives, we do hereby im- 
power and Instruct you to join with the Members who may 
be sent from this and the neighboring Towns in the Province, 
and meet with them at a time to be agreed on, in a General 
Provincial Congress, to act upon such matters as may come 
before you, in such a manner as shall appear to be most con- 
ducive to the true Interest of this Town and Province, and 
most likely to preserve the liberties of America 

It was on November 21, 1774, that the govern- 
ment of England was here practically repudiated ; 
for the town voted to adhere strictly to all the 


resolves and recommendations of the Provincial 
Congress, and Dr. Holton was their unanimous 
choice as representative. It was about this time 
that Dr. Holton relinquished his profession and 
private business, and devoted himself to the ser- 
vice of his country. He was chosen first major of 
the first regiment in Essex. When serving in 
the Provincial Cons-ress he wrote a letter to Mr. 
Daniel Putnam, from which we gather much of 
interest : — 

Council Chamber, 
Monday, July 15, 1776. 
Sir, — When I arrived on Saturday last at Watertown 
the Court was about rising, and I had no opportunity to con- 
verse with the members about the town giving so large a 
bounty. Therefore I can give no advice about what sum is 
proper to give the men that are willing to go. But in gen- 
eral I advise that the Resolves of the Court be complied with 
as far as possible, and as soon as possible. What sum of 
money Captain Flint, yourself, and Lieut. Putnam shall 
think I ought to pay towards raising the men, I shall en- 
deavor to comply with, but I do not doubt you will consider 
I spend all my time in the public service, and have greatly 
hurt my constitution by close application to public business, 
and an aged father sick, and no help but what I am obliged 
to give a great price for, which makes it very difficult for 
me ; but I am ready to spend my estate and life for my bleed- 
ing country if called to it. The Court was prorogued on 
Saturday last to the last Wednesday of August, but last 
evening an Express arrived here from the Honorable Con- 
gress, and another Express from Gen. Washington. The 
Congress have sent us their Declaration, declaring the Colo- 
nies independent States ; and the General informs us of his 


ordering three of the Regiments of the Continental troops 
at or near Boston to march immediately to Ticonderoga, so 
that I suppose the Court must be called together again im- 
mediately. Give my kind regards to Capt. Flint and Lieut. 
Putnam, and let them know from me that I desire them to 
'xert themselves for their distressed country, for we have 
everything to get or everything to lose. We have not a day 
to lose, no, not even an hour. Independency is the best 
news I ever heard, and as I trust our cause is just, we ought 
to put our trust in the God of Armies, and not fear what 
man can do in an unjust cause. I am, Sir, with great regard, 
Your humble Servant, 

S. HoLTON, Jr. 
Mr. Daniel Putnam. 

We see by this letter that Samuel Holton was 
ready to redeem the pledge to give life and for- 
tune if needful. We find him in the Continental 
Congress for a period of five years ; a member of 
the Constitutional Convention ; two years in the 
United States Congress ; Representative to the 
General Court eight years ; five years a senator, 
and twelve years a councillor, and twice presiden- 
tial elector. He was for thirty-two years Judge 
of the Court of Common Pleas ; thirty-five years 
Judge of the Court of General Sessions ; fifteen 
years Chief Justice ; nineteen years Judge of the 
Probate Court for Essex County ; and twenty-four 
years town treasurer. 

It is indeed becoming for us to make this halt 
at the home of a man who served his town and 
country so well, and while passing through the 


rooms sacred to his memory make anew our reso- 
lutions for good citizenship. 

Simple indeed is the slab erected on the grave 
of this faithful man, who lived to fully enjoy that 
freedom for whicl> he labored and sacrificed. He 
died January 2, 18 16, aged seventy-eight years. 

" Peace to the Memory of a Man of Peace.' 

On October 19, 1895, the sons of the American 
Revolution of Massachusetts, together with the 
children of the American Revolution of Danvers, 
gathered about the grave of " Hon. Samuel Hol- 
ton," and there placed the marker of the " S. A. R," 
and held a patriotic service. Holton Street and 
high school are reminders of this noted son of the 
town of Danvers. 

We have thus far traced the footprints of four 
of the Danvers companies to the homes of their 
captains, and we naturally desire to locate the re- 
maining four. South Danvers, near Salem, was 
the home of Captain Caleb Lowe, who with twenty- 
two neighbors marched to Menotomy and Cam- 
bridge on April 19. They are credited with fifty 
miles of travel, and two days' service on the Lex- 
ington Alarm List. Captain Lowe became major, 
and was in command under Washington on the 
Hudson River. It is apparent that he had the 
confidence of the commander-in-chief, who on his 
return from Connecticut in September, 1780, ad- 


dressed a letter to him. The circumstances were 
briefly as follows : Washington, accompanied by 
General Knox, Lafayette, and other officers of 
his suite, made a visit to the Count Rochambeau 
and the Chevalier de Ternay at Hartford, where 
they arranged plans for their next campaign ; and 
on their return discovered that General Arnold, 
in command at West Point, had plotted treason 
with Major Andre, adjutant-general of the Brit- 
ish *army. The plans had failed ; Andre was cap- 
tured, but Arnold escaped, and there was not a 
little confusion in the army. When such a man 
as Arnold, a hero of Ticonderoga in the first of 
the war, had proved false, Washington must have 
been in doubt as to who was worthy of confi- 
dence, but found in Caleb Lowe a faithful officer. 
The original letter, now in possession of the Dan- 
vers Historical Society, reads as follows : — 

Sir, You will be pleased to march early to-morrow morn- 
ing with all the militia under your command and proceed to 
the landing at West Point. You will send an officer on to 
this place, by whom you will receive further orders. Colonel 
Gouvior the bearer of this will apply to you for an officer 
and a small party of men. These you will furnish. 
I am sir with esteem Yr mo ob'et Servt, 

Go. Washington. 
Head Quarters, Robinson's House, 

25th Sept., 1780, 1-2 after 7 o'clock p.m. 
Major Low, at Fishkill. 

With the original letter in my hand, there came 
to me as never before a realizing sense of the sor- 


row that burdened the heart of Washington when 
penning the lines, and later when on October 2, 
17S0, the rules of war were carried out, and the 
handsome, amiable young British officer suffered 
death by hanging at Tappan in the State of New 

Samuel Flint, another of the Danvers captains, 
with forty-five men, is credited with forty miles of 
travel. An officer once asked Captain Flint where 
he could be found on a certain occasion. His reply 
was, *' Where the enemy is, there will you meet 
me." Captain Flint was in the army at the siege 
of Boston, and was later killed at the head of his 
company at Stillwater, October 7, 1777. He was 
the only officer from Danvers who perished in 
the Revolution. 

Asa Prince, with thirty-five men, was at Lexing- 
ton ; and his company is credited with fifty niiles 
of travel. He was also at Bunker Hill and at 
Lake George. On June 17, when attempting to 
cross the Neck when the cannon-balls were flying 
from a British frigate, he dislocated his ankle, but 
hastily put the bone back into the socket, and 
went on his way. 

Captain John Putnam was at the head of an 
Alarm Company consisting of thirty-five men, 
seven of whom were Putnams. They travelled 
forty miles, and served like the rest two days. 
On the grave-stone erected to the memory of a 
Danvers patriot we read: — 




Who Died Sept. i6, 1799. Aged 63 Years. 

An Officer under the Immortal Washington. 

This modest stone^ -what few vain mortals can, 
May truly say: Here lies an Honest rnan. 

Gideon Foster, who reached the rank of major- 
general, lived until 1845. There are those in 
Danvers to-day who with pride recall their many 
conversations with General Foster, the comrade 
of Warren and Prescott and Stark, and one who 
had held official intercourse with Ward, Putnam, 
and Washington. They repeat the story of Gen- 
eral Foster as he gave it on the occasion of laying 
the cornerstone of the Revolutionary monument 
in Danvers. 

*' I was then twenty -six years of age. About 
ten days before I had been chosen to command 
a company of minute-men, who were at all times 
to be in readiness at a moment's warning. They 
were so ready. They all assembled on the very 
spot where we are this day assembled ; they all 
went; and in about four hours from the time of 
meeting, they travelled on foot (full half the way 
upon the run) sixteen miles, and saluted the en- 
emy. This they did most effectually, as the records 
of that day most clearly prove. I discharged my 
musket at the enemy a number of times (I think 
eleven), with two balls each time, and with well- 
directed aim. My comrade, Mr. Cleaves of Bev- 


erly, who was then standing by my side, had his 
finger and ramrod cut away by a shot from the 
enemy. Whether my shots took effect I cannot 
say ; but this I can say, if they did not, it was not 
for the want of determined purpose in him who 
sent them." 

Captain Gideon Foster's company was stationed 
at Little Cambridge (Brighton) at the time of 
the battle of Bunker Hill. He was ordered by 
General Ward to escort a load of ammunition to 
Charlestown. He met the Americans when on 
their retreat, and supplied them with powder for 
one more attempt. This is the account, '' We 
took the ammunition in casks, and conveyed it in 
wagons, and delivered it freely, with our hands 
and our dippers, to their horns, their pockets, their 
hats, and whatever else they had that would hold 
it. I well remember the blackened appearance of 
those busy in this work, not unlike those engaged 
in the delivery of coal on a hot summer's day. At 
the same time we were thus occupied, the enemy's 
shot were continually whistling by ; bufwe had no 
time to examine their character or dimensions." 




The willows had put forth their downy catkins, 
the blue-birds and robins were abroad in the fields, 
and all nature had said farewell to grim winter. 
The spring of 1766 was so far advanced that in 
early April Mrs. Jeremiah Page ventured to allow 
her group of little ones to play out in the gar- 
den a few hours each sunny day. What a merry 
group they were, six bright-eyed little children ! 
and what a relief to the mother when she could 
safely allow them to be out-of-doors, after the long 
winter, when amusement had to be furnished in 
the limited apartments of the home, which, how- 
ever, compared favorably with any of the farm- 
houses of the day. To be sure, Sarah, the eldest 
and namesake of the mother, now fifteen years of 
age, assumed not a little of the care ; but with the 
opening spring came her opportunity for attend- 
ing school, and neither Jeremiah Page nor his wife 
would allow anything to keep her from the few 
weeks of schooling furnished for the girls of the 
town. The girls must be able to read and write; 


and the Pages, who were in advance of some of 
the people, were desirous that their daughters 
should know a little ''reckoning." ''It won't 
come amiss," said the father, when being charged 
with trying " to tiptoe" his girls above the neigh- 
bors. Hannah, the baby, was less than a year and 
a half, while the birthdays of the other four ranged 
between 1751 and this spring-time. 

The fond parents stood one day at the south 
window of the best room looking at the merry 
group, while, like so many samples of perpetual 
motion, they were amusing themselves around the 
trunk of the elm whose buds were already swollen 
to burstinsf. 

Just then there came a cry of alarm. Lydia, 
who had been too ambitious, stumbled, and was 
trampled upon by her eager pursuer. There was 
no one but mother who had the balm for every 
wound of flesh or mind, and she was as prompt to 
respond as were the children to give the alarm. 
Having effectually applied the remedy and set all 
to rights, she rejoined her husband, who now be- 
gan to realize as never before the cares which 
each day brought to his faithful wife. The illness 
which had detained Mr. Page from his brick-yard 
for that one day had afforded an opportunity 
which the early morning and late evening hours 
had not granted him. 

" Wife, you must have more assistance," said 
Jeremiah Page. " I see these burdens are wear- 


ing upon yon. We need a younger *slave. Dinah 
is too old and clumsy to keep an eye out for those 
children, and catch them when they run away 
from the house as they are bound to do." 

At this serious moment of parental discussion, 
black Dinah came rolling into the room. She had 
overheard the charge as to her abilities, and lost 
no time to vindicate herself. 

** Lor's sake, Massa Page," exclaimed Dinah, 
"I car for dem ar chillen jest as well as ever I 
did. I lubs every one on 'em, specially Han- 
nah ; " at the same time stooping to the babe, 
whom she grabbed up, and covering its little rosy 
cheeks with audible kisses from her great lips, 
she waddled away. 

" Dinah is willing and faithful as far as she can 
be," said Mr. Page, standing in the centre of the 
room, and looking towards the door which Dinah 
had just closed behind her and the youngest of 
the group ; " but she would be of more use in 
some family where she could sit in the chimney- 
corner and knit. She's become too large for us. 
I must trade her off. The first day I'm down to 
Salem I'm going to see if Tapley has any fresh 
stock on hand. It's time for some spring black- 
birds from Guinea to be in." Mrs. Page agreed 
with her husband as to her needs, though she 
rather disliked to part with her good cook ; but 
like a dutiful wife (particularly of those times) 
listened to the reasoning of her husband, the 


head of the family, and quietly assented to his 
further remarks in regard to domestic service. 
"These black women depreciate in value very 
rapidly after they reach middle life. Dinah is 
as large as two now, and takes up lots of room. 
I know the children are attached to her, but 
they'll soon learn to like a young and lively girl." 

It is evident that Jeremiah Page ruled in his 
family affairs as well as in his brick-yards, but he 
had a most tender regard for the wife of his youth 
and mother of his children. Now that he had 
learned from personal observation what her daily 
cares were, he was bent upon relieving her. 

Had this family been the only one in the pos- 
session of slaves, here would be a time to pause 
and interject a series of execrations ; but the 
course pursued in this family was such as the 
customs of the time approved. The families in 
the highest walks of society were the most thor- 
oughly equipped with colored slaves, or servants 
as they were sometimes called. Slaves of both 
sexes were generally found in the families of 
the clergy, and it was no uncommon thing for a 
people to present a slave to their pastor as an 
act of tender regard. 

The Rev. John Hancock of Lexington, grand- 
father of John Hancock the patriot, received such 
a gift from his church ; Rev. Joseph Sewall of the 
Old South Church, Boston, was similarly remem- 
bered ; Rev. Joseph Emerson of Maiden, father of 


Rev. William Emerson of Concord, had his slave, 
but whether acquired by purchase or gift is not 
known. Rev. Samuel Moody of York, Maine, says 
by letter to his granddaughter Hannah, daughter 
of Rev. Joseph Emerson, — 

'' My love to your brothers and sisters, not for- 
getting Dinah ; she also is espoused to Christ in 
her Baptism, and she must love, honor, and obey 
ye Lord." 

Colonel Page made repeated trips to Salem, but 
found no negroes on sale who gave promise of 
what he needed ; so he left his order with John 
Tapley, who agreed to notify him of the arrival of 
the first freight from Africa in which there were 
any negroes likely to answer his purpose. 

It was on the morning of April 19, 1766, that 
the colonel rose from the breakfast-table, lathered 
and shaved, called for his surtout, and said by 
way of explanation, '' Tapley has sent up word by 
Putnam that he's got some fresh African stock 
that'll just suit me ; so I'm going down before I 
go over to the yard. If any one calls, tell 'em I'll 
be home before noon," with this he mounted his 
horse and galloped off. 

Mr. Page was a business man, and not long 
about a trade when he found what he wanted. 
" In bonds yet, are they 1 " he asked, as he strode 
about the storehouse at Tapley's wharf among the 
casks of wine, molasses, rum, and an occasional 
negro. '' Yes ; but I'll have off the duties quick 


enough, if you want them. Fine family, I tell 
you ; young to be sure, but they'll improve every 
day, and not be going the other way like that old 
wench of yours," replied Tapley, as he hustled his 
human goods about to make them show off in 
a favorable manner. ''It's a trade," said Page, 
with an air of business such as characterized all 
his proceedings at the market. '' Make out your 
bill. Here's your money, and Putnam will make 
the exchange." While Tapley 's bookkeeper was 
making out the receipt. Colonel Page counted out 
the cash. The business done, Jeremiah Page 
mounted his restless steed, and would have been 
off, had not the merchant called him to a halt by 
saying, " What do you suppose they'll try on us 
next, another Stamp Act, or what.'*" The pro- 
ceedings of Parliament affected every business 
man ; and Colonel Page was not without an inter- 
est in them, although he was engaged in the 
manufacture of bricks. *' Things look a little 
cloudy. If his Majesty expects to make us pay 
the expense of the French wars, besides fighting 
and sacrificing as we did, I'm afraid he'll find we 
shall protest pretty strongly." With these words, 
uttered wnth a deal of emphasis, the customer 
mounted his horse, and was off towards his Dan- 
vers home. 

It was a full hour before noon that he drove 
into the yard, dismounted, entered the house, laid 
aside his surtout, took from his waistcoat pocket 


the legal evidence of his trade, and announced 
to Mrs. Page that he had made a swap, saying, 
" You'll soon have t}i7re instead of one, and alto- 
gether they won't take up as much room as Dinah 
does." And he read aloud the following : — 

Danvers, Apr. 19, 1766. 

Rec'd of Mr. Jeremiah Page, Fifty eight pounds thirteen 
shillings and four pence lawfull money and a negro woman 
called Dinah, which is in full for a negro woman called 
Combo and a negro girl called Gate, and a negro child called 
Deliverance or Dill, which I now sell and Deliver to ye said 
Jeremiah Page. j^^^ Tapley. 

JON^ Bancroft, 

EzerL Marsh. 

The prospect of more assistance in her family 
was cheering to the over-burdened housekeeper, 
yet she disliked to part with Dinah. But before 
she had time to reconcile her mind to the thought, 
Putnam stopped his ox-team at the door, and 
shouted, "Here's your slaves!" And with the 
same breath said to the living portion of his load, 
*' Get off, ye darkies ! here's your new home." The 
farmer's words were unintelligible to the family ; 
but his gestures, with ox-whip in hand, were un- 
derstood by the trio, and they were soon at the 
threshold of the Page mansion. 

Dinah was at once sent to the loft to locate the 
new-comers, and manifested much pleasure upon 
having in her apartment of the Page home an ad- 


dition of three from her own country. It was with 
difficulty that she could make them understand 
her words, for she had been so long with English- 
speaking people that she had lost her native 

As Tapley allowed but little for Dinah, he was 
not particular to have her sent down at once ; and 
she remained for some days before Putnam called 
to take her to the merchant's office. 

''How do you like them, wife.-*" inquired Jere- 
miah Page, when returning at night from the 
brick-yard. '' Rather awkward, surely. Still, I 
think Combo is tractable, and as for Gate, she's 
only a girl, but Dill is so young she is little more 
than a bother at present." — "I know that," re- 
plied the head of the family, as he drew up to the 
tea-table; ''but these will improve with age, while 
Dinah is too old for that, you know. I thouo;ht 
I'd take the little one — I didn't want to see them 
separated ; and then, she'll be a good thing for 
our children to play with till she gets old enough 
for service. I made a good trade with Tapley. 
He didn't want the youngster round." 

"If they are just from Africa, there is a good 
deal of uncertainty about their living until they 
become useful. We do not know what effect our 
climate will have on them," remarked Mrs. Page, 
who did not regard the trade as favorably as her 
husband represented, but she resolved to make 
the best of it. 


Combo, the mother, soon learned, through the 
patience of Mrs. Page, to do many things ; and 
Gate was useful in watching the children and 
looking after her little sister Deliverance, who 
for short was called Dill. They promised well 
through the heated season ; but when the cold 
weather of winter settled down upon them, it 
was more than their constitutions could endure, 
and before another spring Combo and Cate were 
charged off to the profit-and-loss account on Jere- 
miah Pas-e's ledo^er. 

The family were now in a more unfortunate 
condition than when Mr. Page decided to make 
a change. Dinah could not be traced, or she 
would have been brought back, if money could do 
it. As for Dill, she was too young to be of any 
help, but had proved to be uncommonly tractable ; 
and Mrs. Page was bent upon giving her a good 
training in culinary matters. '' I sha'n't try any 
more of them unless they are acclimated," said 
Jeremiah Page one day, half aloud, as he sat bal- 
ancing his accounts. Thoughtfully folding the bill 
of sale, and placing it in his great file for the year 
1766, he added, ''Poor investment that." 

New cares now began to engross the attention 
of the brickmaker. The Stamp Act had been 
passed and repealed. The people of Danvers, like 
all the patriots, were filled with anxiety. Jere- 
miah Page was as bitter against taxation without 
representation as were any of his neighbors, and 


he feared that something would be done to injure 
his business. He heartily indorsed the non-im- 
portation agreement, and strongly forbade the use 
of tea in his house. But Mrs. Page, who lacked 
nothing in the way of patriotism as she regarded 
it, saw no harm in using the supply she had in the 
house, and decided to have a social sip without 
violating the letter of the family edict. 

Dill became accustomed to the New England 
climate, and developed into a useful servant by 
the time the Revolution began to absorb the at- 
tention of the people; but it is doubtful if she 
played the part in the tea-party on the roof which 
Miss Larcom assigns to her. The minor duties 
so early allotted to Dill no doubt included that 
of polishing her master's buttons, when in 1773 
he was made a captain of the militia. With what 
pride she must have looked upon her master, 
dressed in his military garments, set off with the 
white ruffles that she had so deftly crimped, when 
all ready to start to a meeting of the patriots down 
at Salem ! And how much greater her pride must 
have been when ''Massa Gage" occupied the front 
room, and passed in and out attired in the brilliant 
costume befitting the kind's governor of the Prov- 

It was on the ninth anniversary of the coming 
of Combo, Gate, and Dill to the Page home that 
Gaptain Jeremiah Page responded to a hasty alarm, 
and marched off to intercept the army of the king. 


From that time forth there were heated discussions 
in the home ; and Dill's interest in the family 
caused her no little anxiety, although she had no 
adequate appreciation of the occasion of the dis- 
turbance. She met her first real grief when her 
mistress died on March i, 1776, and she was sub- 
jected to a new mistress. 

Dill heard much talk about the Declaration of 
Independence, but was far from comprehending 
its significance. Her lot had fortunately been 
cast among good people, and she had no thought 
of any liberty which she had not always enjoyed. 
The younger children of the family clung to her 
more closely now that their mother was gone. 
Dill manifested an interest in those under her 
charge only surpassed by a mother's affection : she 
romped with them in the garden, fondled them in 
her arms by the family hearth-stone, dried their 
innocent tears, and seemed like one of them. 
And Dill was contented in her ignorance until 
she was shown that the Declaration of Indepen- 
dence, which brought cheer to her master, and to 
maintain which he fought and sacrificed, had a 
meaning for her, although she was black and had 
been purchased by Jeremiah Page's money. 

She was yet in her "teens " when the Constitu- 
tion of the State was adopted, and the people said, 
" All men are born free and equal, etc." 

It was some years before Dill left the Page 
family, and then her going was more like that of 



a daughter, who having attained her majority and 
reciprocated the affections of a worthy man, ex- 
changed the paternal home for that of one of her 
own choice in which she was to preside as mis- 

Slaves who took their freedom, and others who 
remained with their masters and mistresses, were 
very numerous in Sa- 
lem, and Dill naturally 
cast in her lot with 
the people at the sea- 
port. There were 
many Caesars among 
them, and to prevent 
confusion they were 
known by the sur- 
name of their respec- 
tive masters. It was 
Caesar Symonds who 
won the affections of 
" Deliverance Page " 
the marriage records 
of Salem attest. 

The new responsibilities assumed by Dill were 
not so absorbing as to cause her to forget the 
people and the home which she had left, neither 
was she forgotten by the Page family. Seldom 
did they visit the port without seeking out the 
little black house in North Salem where their old 
servant presided as mistress. Bundles and baskets 

Dill's Daughter, Anstiss 



were continually left at the cottage door, and each 
recurring Thanksgiving brought cheer to the Page 
family as they carried cheer to the hearts of Dill 
and her children. As each of the children of 
Jeremiah Page established homes for themselves, a 

St. Peter's Church at Salem 

new channel of supply was created for the increas- 
ing family at Salem. The visiting children took 
delight with those of black faces, and in listening 
to the chatter of a parrot, which in summer was 
kept in a green cage hanging from a limb of a 
willow-tree near the door of the humble home of 
the Symonds family. Dill never failed to make 


regular visits to the Page home until old age 
settled down upon hen 

She was tali and erect in stature, and when 
dressed as her taste directed, with bright yellow 
turban, gold ear-hoops, and bright plaid shawl, had 
every appearance of an African princess. Her 
presence, together with that of her daughters 
Hannah and Anstiss, brought pleasure to the 
Danvers home, where the grandchildren of Jere- 
miah Page kept up the family interest. 

In the great company assembled on a June day 
of 1805 to honor the memory of a noted man, 
there were seen no faces more tearful than those 
of Deliverance Symonds and her daughters. All 
the words of eulogy from eloquent lips over the 
remains of Colonel Jeremiah Page could not out- 
weigh the half-audible sentence, " He was a good 
man," uttered by the black woman who lingered 
by the bier of her master and benefactor. 

It was nearly a half century later when in 
Salem a little company of people, chiefly colored, 
bore the form of a nonagenarian through the aisle 
of St. Peter's Church ; and among all who gave 
reverent heed to the rector's words, "■ I am the 
resurrection and the life," were noticed members 
of the Page family of Danvers, who had seen in 
the departed an innocent slave, an honest ser- 
vant, a faithful wife, a devoted mother, and a 
sincere Christian. 












Chelmsford is one of the trio of towns which 
received the seal of incorporation on May 29, 1655 ; 
Concord had preceded them by twenty years, and 
Woburn by thirteen years. Previous to this date 
Woburn and Concord were the nearest to this set- 
tlement ; but subsequently Billerica was the near- 
est neighbor, and Groton, the other of the three, 
was not far away. But civilization had pushed its 
way into this wilderness before the towns were 
granted a corporate existence. The men who first 
took action towards a settlement of the tract " ly- 

1 This town included Lowell for many years after the Revolu- 
tion, and the footprints of the early patriots in that now busy city 
will be traced in this connection. 


ing on the other [west] side of Concord River " 
were from Concord and Woburn ; and their names 
have been continued in the town through all the 
years of the history of Chehiisford, and they are 
honored among the early and later patriots. 

As it was a frontier settlement, it was soon 
found expedient to take precautions against In- 
dian attacks, although they had lived at peace for 
a score of years with the Wamesits, or Pawtuckets, 
who were their near neighbors. But during that 
general uprising, King Philip's war, the settlers 
in Chelmsford were not entirely exempt from trou- 
ble, yet they suffered much less than many fron- 
tier towns. Some years before these hostilities 
had begun, the Chelmsford men took precautions 
peculiar to the time. Divine worship was their 
chief concern, and they naturally adopted meas- 
ures to prevent being attacked and overcome while 
assembled at the meeting-house on the Sabbath. 
The following appears upon the records : — 

25 the 5 motli. 1671. It is ordered by the selectmen For 
Severall Considerations espetialy for the preseruation of peace, 
That with in one month after the Date hear of Eury every 
malle person with in our towne above the Age of fiveteen years 
shall provid a good Clube of fouer or five foote in lingth with 
a Knobe in the end, and to bring the same to the metting 
house ther to leave the Same vntill vntill ocation fore use of 
it be (found, etc.) 

The name of the Rest By 

Samuel Adams, 



Other precautions followed, such as the erection 
of a strong house on an eminence now known 
as Robins Hill. Several garrisons were built in 
1675 ; and their identity is not entirely obliterated, 
as we shall see in our circuit of the town in quest 
of the footprints of Chelmsford patriots. 

This town had been making a noteworthy rec- 
ord for one hundred and twenty years before the 
Revolution burst upon the Colonies. During the 
greater portion of this time the people had been 
in more or less military service, and were not un- 
prepared for the struggle for independence. New 
people had joined the first settlers ; and their de- 
scendants, with those of the pioneers, had been 
wisely guided by devout pastors, three of whom 
had done their work and been laid to rest, and a 
fourth, Rev. Ebenezer Bridge, was settled as the 
pastor in 1741. These clergymen had been closely 
identified with the military interests of the town, 
according to the custom throughout the Colonies. 
The fourth minister's journal bears witness to his 
faithfulness in this direction ; and his Artillery 
Election Sermon of June i, 1752, is largely de- 
voted to showing the consistency of military life 
with the profession and practice of Christianity. 

Rev. Mr. Bridge had been in service in the 
town thirty-four years when he was called upon to 
take a stand with the king or against him. This 
must have occasioned many a severe struggle in 
his honest breast ; for he was intimately associated 


with the government officials, and enjoyed their 
society in Boston as well as at his own hearth- 
stone. His love for the king may be inferred 
from the following entry : — ■ 

Dec. 31, 1760. Heard with certainty of the death of 
King George the 2nd and of the accession of George the 
3rd. The king was proclairried at Boston yesterday, sermon 
and procession, etc., to-morrow. 

yaimary 4, 1761. Preached sermon on the death of 
King George 2nd, and the accession of George 3rd to the 
British throne. 

Every act of the Chelmsford minister evinced 
his patriotism and proves his social standing. He 
notes under date of 

June 24, 1763. Dined at Col. Stoddard's with his Ex- 
cellency, the Governor, and Hon. Mr. Ijowdoin and others 
and their ladies. 

He records : — 

May 15, 1765. Dined at Capt. Barrons with Col. Phipps, 
Mr. Lechmere, Major Vassal, and their ladies, upon invita- 
tion, supped at Col. Stoddard's with Secretary Oliver and 
lady. They lodged at my house by reason of Col. Stoddard 
having plastered his chamber. 

With what awe the common people must have 
viewed these scenes, when the gilded coaches 
arrived from Boston and Cambridge, and rolled 
up to the Colonel's door, and from them alighted 
the officials of the king, in rich and brilliant cos- 


tumes, together with their puffed and powdered 
ladies ! 

In April, 1771, he notes : — 

Fast Day. Lieut. Governor Oliver attended service with 

and in the same year he records a visit to Dr. El- 
lis and Governor Hutchinson, the latter of whom 
received him "very graciously." 

Had we no other evidence than the parson's 
own diary, we should be convinced that he at first 
was inclined to favor the existing institutions, and 
adhere to the Crown. This appears in his entry 
at the time of the riotous opposition excited by 
the passage of the Stamp Act. No doubt his 
indignation was strengthened by the severe treat- 
ment of his personal friend Oliver. His entry on 
August 30, 1765, is — 

Every day we hear ye news from Boston of ye mobish 
doings there in which first insurrection they hanged Secre- 
tary Ohver in effigy, and then burned him ; burned the Stamp 
Office, etc., rifled his dwelHng. . . . All this is owing to ye 
Stamp Act. 

September i, 1766, the pastor makes record of a 
town meeting, in which it was voted that the dam- 
age to the sufferers in the late insurrection on 
account of the Stamp Act should not by their 
consent be paid by the Province. 

The sympathies of the Chelmsford minister be- 
ing with Francis Bernard, the governor, he was 


invited to preach the election sermon, and did so 
on May 27, 1767. The country parson, doubtless 
flattered by the honor, expressed himself strongly 
in his attachment to the mother country, and was 
duly complimented by the friends of the govern- 
ment who sat at meat with the officials. Enter- 
tainment at the Province House at this time must 
have been an agreeable change from the Parson's 
burdens in his parish, where he found it difficult 
to live within his limited salary. He was not un- 
used to seeing negro slaves in his parish, but not 
such a retinue of both sexes as waited and tended 
in the governor's family. 

The Chelmsford minister makes a record of 

Visited Col. Stoddard & discoursed with his mulatto ser- 
vant, Hagar, who seemed to feign herself ill. 

He frequently recorded baptisms of negro in- 
fants, and funeral services over some of the race 
then family slaves. 

What influences may have been brought to bear 
to convince the Chelmsford minister of his duty 
as a patriot when the king proved unfaithful to 
his subjects may not be known ; but his journal 
shows him to have been intimately associated 
with the patriot preachers. Revs. Daniel Emerson 
of Hollis, N.H., Joseph Emerson of Pepperell, 
and William Emerson of Concord, Mass. He was 
also associated with Rev. Jonas Clark of Lexing- 


ton, and other ministers of the same standing. It 
is sufficient that Rev. Mr. Bridge, after the pub- 
lication of the Hutchinson letters in this country, 
became an ardent supporter of the liberties of the 

Says Mr. Perham, the town historian, "The 
position of the people of the town in respect to 
the grievances under which the Colonies suffered 
was in the highest degree creditable to them. 
While they firmly adhered to their rights as Eng- 
lishmen, there is not the remotest susfsfestion of 
a desire to sever their connection with the exist- 

They did not hesitate to instruct their repre- 
sentative, Colonel Stoddard, after the passing of 
the Stamp Act, — 

" This being a time when, by reason of several acts of par- 
liament, not only in this province, but all the English Colo- 
nies of this Continent, are thrown into the utmost confusion 
and perplexity ; the stamp act as we apprehend not only lays 
an unconstitutional, but also an insupportable, tax upon us, 

^ In 1772 a number of Hutchinson's letters written to the 
British Cabinet were found. They revealed the fact that he was 
urging them to enforce their plans against the liberties of the 
American Colonies. The General Court, upon knowledge of this, 
voted to impeach him, and requested his Majesty to remove the 
governor from ofifice. Hutchinson, when informed of this, dis- 
solved the assembly, and at length became so obnoxious that he 
was superseded by Governor Gage, whose name is familiar to 
every patriot. Hutchinson died in England in 1780. 


and deprives us, as we humbly conceive, of those rights and 
privileges to which we are entitled as free born subjects of 
Great Britain by the royal charter ; wherefore we think it our 
duty and interest at this critical conjuncture of our public 
affairs, to direct you, sir, our representative, to be so far from 
countenancing the execution of the aforesaid stamp act, that 
you use your best endeavors that such measures may be 
taken and such remonstrances made to the King and Parlia- 
ment, as may obtain a speedy repeal of the aforesaid act, 
and a removal of the burden upon trade." 

Says Mr. Perham, '' Our people continued to 
thus firmly adhere to their principles, and on Jan- 
uary 22, 1773, instructed their representative, Mr. 
Simeon Spaulding, at some length." 

" Sir, as the present aspect of the times is dark and diffi- 
cult, we do not doubt but you will cheerfully know the sen- 
timents and receive the assistance of those you represent. 
The matters that may now come under your cognizance are 
of great importance. The highest wisdom, therefore, pru- 
dence and decision, are evidently necessary. We would 
earnestly caution you by no means to consent to any rash, 
passionate plan of action, which will not only sully the dig- 
nity, but finally prove the utter destruction of the cause we 
pretend to support. We hope those little animosities that 
involve persons, not things, may be utterly banished, and 
that every determination will be found in the nature of a 
free state, and that therefore every annexed to each 

part may be religiously preserved. 

"Of course, you will be careful not to trample on majesty, 
while you are firmly but deacently pleading the liberties of tlie 
subject. In fine, we wish you that wisdom which is from 
above, and we pray you that your conduct in this important 
crisis may be such as the coolest reflection will ever justify." 


The act for closing the port of Boston brought 
out the people ; and in a town meeting on May 30, 
1774, they again put themselves on record against 
the act, and in sympathy with the people of Bos- 
ton. They chose a Committee of Correspondence, 
— Jonathan William Austin, who had come from 
the office of John Adams in Boston,- and settled 
as a lawyer in town ; Captain Oliver Barron ; Mr. 
Samuel Perham, who was tilling the acres now 
cultivated by his great-grandson ; David Spaul- 
ding ; Benjamin Walker ; Deacon Aaron Cham- 
berlin ; Captain Moses Parker ; Samuel Stevens, 
Jr. ; and Simeon Spaulding. 

They concluded their action of that May day 
by declaring, " In freedom we're born, and in free- 
dom we'll die." Each onward step was carefully 
taken by the Chelmsford patriots, and there were 
no halting or backward movements. In Septem- 
ber, 1774, they sent Simeon Spaulding to represent 
them at Salem, while Mr. Austin and Samuel Per- 
ham were made deles-ates to the first Provincial 
meeting at Concord. They had their Committee 
of Inspection to prevent the purchase and sale of 
goods imported from Great Britain ; and they also 
voted to equip the Alarm List with implements of 
war, and to raise and discipline fifty minute-men. 

While their hearts and hands were full at home, 
they did not forget the suffering people in the 
blockaded port. The following letter affords un- 
mistakable evidence of this fact : — 


Boston, Ocio. 3d, 1774. 

Si)\ — To commiserate the Afflicted, to sympathize with 
the oppressed Sufferers, to reach out the bountious hand for 
the Comfort, Relief & Support of the Distressed, are sacrifices 
well-pleasing and acceptable to God thro Christ our Savior. 

Our Worthy Friends and Brethren of Chelmsford have in 
this way done honour to the Gospel of our divine Redeemer and 
by so doing have greatly honour'd themselves. We have an 
evidence hereof in the very kind Donation of Forty Bushels of 
Rye from the patriotic Inhabitants of that Town : it has been 
received and housed at the Granary and shall be disposed of 
agreeable to the benevolent Intent of the generous Donors. 

It affords us great satisfaction to find that the Conduct of 
this much abused Town meets with their approbation ; we 
greatly value it ; and trust that by the same gracious direct- 
ing and supporting hand. Hand, which hath brought us 
hitherto, we shall not be left to do anything which may incur 
a forfeiture of that Affection and esteem. How can ye help 
us at such a time as this more effectually than by carrying our 
Cause daily to the God of all Grace and imploring his Mercy 
and Favour for Us. They are inclusive of all Good. 

Your Invitation to make your Houses our Homes is very 
engaging should we at length be forced out of these once 
peaceful Habitations, we think ourselves very happy that we 
are like to be so well provided for ; but should we be obliged 
even to remove off fifteen times the distance of Chelmsford, 
yet the Consciousness of a Cordial Attachment to the inval- 
uable civil and religious Liberties of our Country, which we 
believe to be the Cause of trutli and Righteousness, would 
yield us content and Satisfaction far superior to that which 
those can experience who are ungratefully seeking to " build 
their greatness on the Country's Ruin." With grateful Ac- 
knowledgements, I am. Sir, 

Your truly obliged Friend, & Servt., 

David Jeffries, 

Per Order of the Counnittee of Donations. 
Mr. Jonathan William Austin. 


In addition to this donation of the autumn of 
1774, together with the offer of their homes to any 
who desired to move to the town, this patriotic 
people gathered a flock of sheep from the various 
farms, and sent them during the winter of 1774-5 
to the relief of the sufferers who remained in Bos- 
ton. In my journey about this town I met several 
people, who, at the same hearth-stones where they 
gather their families, have heard their grandpar- 
ents tell of making their contributions from their 
flocks to the sufferers. 

Mr. Simeon Spaulding was the town's agent for 
delivering contributions. He was a yeoman of 
prominence and influence, living on a portion of 
the ancestral homestead. He never shrank from 
duty, and was ever ready for patriotic service. 
Besides representing the town in various legisla- 
tures and congresses, he was the colonel of a regi- 
ment commissioned February 14, 1776. He was 
succeeded on the farm by his son. Deacon Noah 
Spaulding, whose daughter, Julia Ann, married 
John C. Dalton. Their son, Charles H. Dalton of 
Boston, while at the old home, rescued many val- 
uable papers from a destructive hand, among them 
the letter already quoted. Through the courtesy 
of Mr. Dalton I am enabled to give these facts to 
my readers. 

Weekly drillings and ordinary cares so absorbed 
the farmers of this town that the early spring of 
1775 was upon them before they hardly realized 


it. They not only kept an eye out to their coun- 
try's interest, but plied themselves with all dili- 
gence to the welfare of their families, and the 
distressed from Boston who had accepted their 
invitations. The musket, well scoured, stood at 
the bedside, or hung over the fireplace, and the 
well-filled cartridge-box had a convenient place 
near by. A bountiful wood-pile had been prepared 
at the door. The sheep and cows, ''well wintered," 
were cropping the early sprouts, and the plough 
was turning the fresh soil. 

Suddenly an alarm was heard. A familiar voice 
shouted, "The Regulars are coming!" In a mo- 
ment the scene changed. The husband, father, 
and son, with a few hasty farewells, are gone ; the 
munitions of war are not to be seen in the home ; 
the plough is still in the furrow ; and the wife, 
mother, and daughter, more than double their bur- 
den in assumins: the care of the farm. 

" From these farms came more than a hundred 
resolute, determined men. Theirs were not acts 
of men eager for war, nor did they display the 
caution of timidity. Their language was not the 
language of men eager to achieve glory by deeds 
of arms ; but the time for words had passed, the 
time for action had come." 

Mr. George Spaulding said, in repeating his 
grandfather's story, '* We rallied at the alarm- 
post, a bowlder agreed upon by previous arrange- 
ment, and made hasty preparations for our march. 


Parson Bridge was on hand, and wanted us to go 
into the meeting-house and have prayers before 
we left town ; but some were on horseback, and 
some on foot, and all more or less anxious to get 
started. In fact, Sergeant [later Captain] Ford, 
who came from East Chelmsford [ now Lowell ] 
in charge of a squad, replied to the good parson, 
that he had more urgent business on hand, and 
hastened on with his men. There was but little 
military order observed by us. We went off in 
squads as soon as convenient. One company of 
sixty-one men was under the command of Captain 
Oliver Barron, and the other of forty-three men 
was under the command of Colonel Moses Parker. 
We reached Concord in time to have a part in the 
pursuit of the retreating redcoats. We had our 
first shot at them at Merriam's Corner, and more 
at Hardy's Hill. Captain Ford, who was at this 
time sergeant in Captain Barron's company, was 
prominent on the Hill. He was an old fighter of 
the French and Indians, and knew how to handle 
his musket to an advantage. He claimed to have 
caused the death of five of the enemy on Lincoln 
soil. [See ''Beneath Old Roof Trees."] We con- 
tinued in the pursuit, determined on redressing 
our wrongs. Captain Oliver Barron and Deacon 
Aaron Chamberlin were wounded that day." 

Doubtless my young patriot readers are anx- 
ious to know the attitude of Rev. Mr. Bridge as 
revealed in his own journal. A few entries are 


introduced to show the pastor's course of proceed- 
ing when patriotism was evinced by adhering to 
the king : — 

1755, Sept. 15. A general muster of companies through 
the Provinces to raise men to reinforce army at Crown Point. 
Spent evening at Parker's with officers, & this day the news 
came of the engagement between Gen. Johnson's army & 
the French & Indians, in which Jolmson's army came off 
conquerors, having taken the French General, & killed 700 
officers & men, & taken and wounded many. The baUle 
was on the 8 Sept. instant — a signal mercy. Though at the 
same time we are called to mourn the loss of divers brave 
officers and soldiers to the number of about 120 or 130. 

Sept. 25. V^isited the wife of Jona. Barron, as I did yes- 
terday towards night, upon a flying report of her husband 
being killed in the battle agt. the enemy on the way to Crown 

26. Visited Mrs. Barron this morning upon the acct. of 
her hearing more news of her husband being killed, & dis- 
coursed with her. Prayed at Parker's with a company going 
off to Crown Point, Captain Butterfield of Dunstable. 

27. Visited Widow Parker upon a flying report of her 
son being killed in the fight under Gen. Johnson, so upon 
the same acct. visited wife of Jacob Parker. 

30. Visited Mrs. Barron, who this day is certified of the 
death of her husband in the late battle with our enemies in 
the way toward Crown Point, by an extract of a letter of 
Maj. Nichols (to his wife), who also was wounded in the 
same engagement. I discoursed with her again, & endeav- 
ored to comfort her. 

Lieutenant Barron was in the successful siege 
of Quebec, and upon his return presented his 
minister with a silver cup, a trophy brought from 


there ; but he lost his life in the campaign against 
Crown Point in 1755. Two other Chelmsford 
soldiers perished at the same time, viz., Jacob 
Parker and James Emery. 

In the following year came the unsuccessful 
campaign against the same place, when four men 
of Chelmsford lost their lives, viz., Nathaniel 
Butterfield, Simeon Corey, James Button, and 
Isaac Parker. Clergymen were required to be 
furnished with military equipments. The Chelms- 
ford pastor makes record on July 8, 1757, of a 
call from Colonel Stoddard, who asked him if he 
was furnished with arms and ammunition accord- 
ing to law. 

Through all these sorrows we find the pastor 
having a personal interest in the sufferers, and in 
the general results. In 1758, Rev. Mr. Bridge re- 
cords : — 

Spent the evening at Parkers, whose company met to ap- 
point Bayonet men under the new law. 

He also gives an account of Benjamin By ham 
and others going to the war. It seems that it was 
customary for troops passing through a town to 
halt for prayers, etc. Mr. Bridge has recorded : — 

Prayed with troops which came from Newbury, Rowley, 
&c., on their way to the Forts ; also at Lieut. Proctor's with 
the same. 

The rejoicing at the completion of the French 
war is seen in the following : — 


Col. Stoddard's whole house was illuminated on account 
of the taking of Quebec. 16 Oct., 1759, was the day ap- 
pointed by the government to be observed. 

25th Oct., 1759. Thanksgiving on acct. of the reduction 
of Quebec. Preached from Psalm 98-1 . At night Col. Stod- 
dard and others visited me ; also brother John from Boston, 
who fired us a half doz. Sky Rockets. 

August, 1760. Visited Lieut. Jona. Spaulding and Ensign 
Jona. Harwood, each of them lately bereaved of a son in the 
army at Crown Point. 

This faithful pastor's journal is evidence of his 
service on occasions more cheerful, such as "rais- 
ings," "huskings," and the like, in his own parish, 
also "barbecues," "ordinations," etc., in other 
towns. While weeping with his sorrowing neigh- 
bors, he is called to marry a couple, and receives 
as his fee, "a guinea & a pair of kid gloves for 
self & wife." 

After the King Street massacre of 1770, Rev- 
erend Mr. Bridge wrote : — 

Bad news this day or two from Boston, the soldiers having 
killed four persons and wounded otiiers. 

Under date of April 19, 1775, he wrote : — 

The Civil war was begun at Concord this morning ! Lord 
direct all things for his glory, the good of his church and 
people, and preservation of the British Colonies, and to the 
shame and confusion of our oppressors. 

April 20. In a terrible state, by reason of ye news from 
our army. The onset of ye British was begun at Lexington, 
was carried on at Concord, where some were killed on both 


sides. They ingloriously retreated soon and were followed 
by our men down to Cambridge, before night. Five captives 
were carried through this town for Amherst. A constant 
marching of soldiers from ye towns above toward ye army 
as there were yesterday from this town and the neighboring 
towns. We are now involved in a war which Lord only 
knows what will be the issue of, but I will hope in His mercy, 
and wait to see His salvation. 

April 21. I sent provisions to the army as did many 
more. 'Tis a very distressing day, soldiers passing all day 
and all night. 

Sergeant Ford, upon retm-ning from service in 
response to the Lexington alarm, proceeded im- 
mediately to raise a company. His patriotic zeal 
inspired others ; and in ten days he was joined by 
fifty-seven men, and on May 19 he received his 
commission as captain. 

The part taken by the Chelmsford soldiers in 
the battle of Bunker Hill was most creditable. 
The companies belonged to the Twenty-seventh 
Regiment, of which their former townsman, Eben- 
ezer Bridge, was colonel. John Ford, captain of 
one of the companies, distinguished himself in 
this connection. 

" He volunteered to carry from Cambridge to 
Bunker Hill a message from General Ward. To 
do this he must pass over Charlestown Neck in 
the range of British guns, at the imminent peril 
of his life. He had orders from General Ward to 
dismount from his horse at the Neck and cross on 
foot, in order to escape observation. But he ran 


the risk, and passed and repassed on horseback. 
While at Bunker Hill he warned General Prescott 
that from the movements of the enemy it was 
evident that they were preparing to attack the 
Americans upon the hill, and urged the necessity 
of immediately casting up breastworks and re- 

''When the preparation for the battle began, 
the gallant captain, who had no taste for inactiv- 
ity, obtained permission from General Ward at 
Cambridge to withdraw his company privately, and 
march directly to the scene of action to re-enforce 
the troops. They marched across Charlestown 
Neck, which was being raked by cannon from the 
British ships, and proceeded down Bunker Hill, 
where they were met by General Putnam, who or- 
dered Captain Ford, with his company, to draw 
into the line the cannon which had been deserted 
by General Callender, and left at the foot of the 
hill after the first attack. The captain at first re- 
monstrated on the ground that his company were 
ignorant of the management of artillery, many hav- 
ing never seen a cannon before ; but finally obeyed, 
and moved with the cannon and the general him- 
self to the rail fence, which they reached just be- 
fore the battle began. 

" Captain Knowlton with Connecticut troops, 
and Colonel Stark with New Hampshire troops, 
were also stationed at this part of the defence. 
The right wing of the British army, under Gen- 


eral Howe, was directed against this point for the 
purpose of turning the American flank, and cut- 
ting off a retreat from the redoubt. As the enemy 
advanced to the attack, the artillery, manned by a 
portion of Captain Ford's company, opened upon 
them with great effect, some of the shots being 
directed by General Putnam himself. The mus- 
kets were ordered to reserve their fire till the 
enemy were within eight rods." 

An old grave-stone in the burying-ground at 
Chelmsford tells how a soldier from that town 
disobeyed orders. 


Who Died July 31, 1820, /Et. 64. 


He was among the brave asserters and defenders of the Hberties of his 
country at Bunker Hill, where he opened the battle by firing 
upon the enemy before orders were given & after enjoy- 
ing for many years the blessings of civil & 
religious liberty in common with others 

He sniik to rest 
Wit/i all his connt}-y's honors blest. 

The Chelmsford men were among those who 
used their fowling-pieces with deadly effect ; and 
the enemy were obliged to retreat for a time, 
"leaving on the ground," as General Stark related, 
"where but the day before the mowers had swung 
the scythe in peace, the dead, as thick as sheep 
in a fold." During the entire engagement, Cap- 


tain Ford and his men bore an honorable part. 
Thirteen of the company were wounded. Ten 
Chehiisford men were in Captain Benjamin Walk- 
er's company, and did good service. Captain 
Walker was wounded, taken prisoner, and died 
of his wounds in a jail in Boston. Lieutenant- 
Colonel Moses Parker met a similar fate.^ 

The first report of this battle was received in 
Chelmsford by way of Billerica on the evening of 
the 17th. The alarm-guns were fired, great ex- 
citement prevailed, and before morning some of 
the wounded returned to their distressed families. 
Under that date, Rev. Mr. Bridge writes : — 

"A terrible time this in relation to our army, in battle 
with our oppressors at Charlestovvn. The whole town on hre. 
The armies engaged on Bunker's Hill. At night we saw a 
fire from Chelmsford." 

On the following day the parson writes : — 

"The armies at Charlestown still engaged, and news fly- 
ing with respect to the slain and wounded. This is a day 
big with distress and trouble. Our enemies are those who 
were our brethren of the same nation, and subjects of the 
same king, and all for the sake of a wicked and corrupt min- 
istry, a deluded, a devilish, a venal parliament.'" 

1 " During the evening and night after the battle, the air 
trembled with the groans of the wounded, as they were borne over 
the Charles, and through the streets of Boston to hospitals, where 
they were to waste away from the summer heat, and the scarcity 
of proper food." — Bancroft. 



Rev. Mr. Bridge's journal furnishes us with 
glimpses of later service of Chelmsford soldiers, 
and of his own patriotic acts. 

Chelmsford Monumknt (Revolutionary) 

JiDie 30, 1776. Read a resolve of the General Court rel- 
ative to raising men to go to Canada, and notified the people 
to appear with arms, etc. 

July 2. The town again in confusion. Companies met 
to draw out men for Canada. 

July 5. More hurry about raising soldiers. Col. Cum- 
mings appointed General Ijut resigned. 

July 22. Two of the British officers, prisoners at Duns- 


table, visited me. (They may have expected sympathy from 
the parson, formerly known to be a loyalist.) 

July 23. Capt. Ford and his company marched oflf in 
order to join our northern army. At his desire I went to 
the meeting-house previous to their marching, sang the 18 
Psalm, and prayed with them and gave them a word of 
exhortation. Part of two other companies of soldiers on 
their march from the lower towns came into town towards 
night and lodged in town. 

Capt. Ford was again out with his company to re-enforce 
the northern army in Sept. of 1777, and was present at the 
surrender of Burgoyne and the northern army in the follow- 
ing month. 

July 25. Much company and much confusion by reason 
of the soldiers passing through. 

July 26. Early in the morning I prayed in the meeting- 
house with Capts. Fay and Bancroft of VVoburn and Read- 
ing and their respective companies upon their march to join 
the northern army. 

Sept. I. Read the Declaration of Independence of the 
U. States of America in public congregation agreeable to 
the order of the council of this State, and when I had done 
added ' Zion heard and was glad, and the daughter of Judah 
rejoiced because of the judgment of the Lord."" 

Sept. 8. Was sent for and went to Parker, Bills, or \Vm. 
Parkers, his child sick, he in the war, prayed with them. 

Sept. 19. Visited David Spaulding upon his receiving the 
news of his son David in the army at Ticonderoga — he dies 
of small pox. 

Sept. 24. Visited Willard Byam ill at his fathers. Jonas 
Dutton ill at his mothers, both came home from the army, 
prayed with each family. 

In the morning went to the meeting-house and prayed 
with a company of soldiers going off toward New York. 
They are to go under command of Zach. Wright of West- 


Opposite the biirying-ground, and on an attrac- 
tive common, stands a unique granite monument 
on which is read : — 

In Honor of the Townsmen of Chelmsford Who served 

THEIR Country in the War of the Revolution, this 

Monument is Erected by a Grateful Posterity. 

Erected 1859. 

Let the cJiihlren g7iard wliat the sires have 7von. 

John Bates, Died in Army at Cambridge 

David Spalding, Jr., Died in Army at Ticonderoga ; 

Pelatiah Adams, killed at Cherry Valley; 

Noah Foster, shot at capture of Burgoyne ; 

Henry Fletcher, killed at White Plains; 

Lt. Col. Moses Parker and Capt. Benj. Walker, 

Wounded at Bunker Hill, June 17, 1775. 

Died Prisoners in Boston, July 4, and Aug. i, '75 ; 

Lt. Robert Spalding, Died at Milford, Ct., '76. 








Man loves the soil that gave him birth as the child loves the mother, 
and from the same inherent impulses. — B. J. Lossing. 

Those who are accustomed to think of Lowell 
as a city of comparatively recent origin will hardly 
expect to find the footprints of the patriots of the 
Revolution along its busy streets ; but a careful 
search will reveal them, and also bring to mind 
the faithful service of much earlier patriots. 

Nature, through the distribution of her water- 
ways, had determined that East Chelmsford should 
be a city ; but long before the white settlers found 
a use for the bountiful waters, there lived and 
loved another race of beings. The red man of the 
forest, with his dusky mate, was early attracted to 



the place. In 1653 the Legislature of Massachu- 
setts granted the Indians a reservation about the 
falls, and they were peaceable through the in- 
fluence of the Christian patriot, Eliot. Yet other 
tribes were of hostile intent ; and the good citizen 

Bowers Homestead, Lowell 

was he who kept a vigilant watch for the lurking 
enemy, and took steps to protect himself and 
family against the foe. 

Of those who early did service in the interest of 
the white settlers of this locality, we can readily 
trace one to the Bowers farm. ** This estate," 


says Mr. Perham, '' has been in the family posses- 
sion as long as its history is known. The dwelling 
is the oldest standing in Lowell, and has doubtless 
served the Bowers family for two centuries. The 
first to settle here was Jerathmell Bowers, who 
was a son of George, who was in Plymouth in 
1639. Jerathmell was born May 2, 1650. He 
doubtless came to Chelmsford, now Lowell, with 
the family of Henry Boutell, who was his step- 
father. He was a man of wealth and influence, 
was early chosen representative to the General 
Court, and was captain in the military organization 
doing good service." In proof of this I quote 
from the diary of Chief Justice Samuel Sewall, 
who, with all his cares, found time to make a tour 
of inspection through Middlesex County. In his 
diary he wrote : — 

'' Mo7iday, Oct. 26, 1702. Went to Chelmsford, by that 
time got there 'twas ahnost dark; saw Capt. Bowery and his 
company ; gave a volley and Huzzas ; supYl at Mr. Clark's 1 
I and Col. Pierce in his study.'' 

The document reproduced on page 297 is of 
interest in this connection for the signature of 
Thomas Hinchman, a patriot of the time, whose 
name is indelibly stamped on the pages of the 
early history of Massachusetts. 

1 Mr. Clark was the minister, Rev. Thomas Clark, whose daugh- 
ter married Rev. John Hancock of Lexington, and hence became 
the grandmother of Governor John Hancock. 


Jerathmell Bowers removed from this homestead 
to Groton, where he died in 1724, at the age of 
seventy-eight years. Probably he was not long 
away from his home, as we find in Chelmsford 
burying-ground a stone to the memory of " Mrs. 
Elizabeth Bowers, wife to Capt. Jerathmell Bow- 
ers who died, March 4th 1721, in ye "jG year of 
Her age." Captain Bowers was a man of in- 
fluence in his time, and on this old homestead 
conducted business according to the demands of 
the time. October 5, 1686, Jerathmell Bowers 
and John Fisk were licensed by the court to sell 
" strong waters." Two years later Bowers and 
Cornelius Waldo were licensed to carry on the 
same business. Fisk was a son of the minister, 
and Waldo was the deacon of the church. No 
harm was thought to arise from the sale of intoxi- 
cants to the white people, but it was bad for the 
Indians with whom Captain Bowers had to do. 

Six children were objects of Captain Bowers's 
solicitude at this old homestead, and he was doubt- 
less succeeded by his son Jerathmell, and perhaps 
Jonathan, at the old home ; and it is certain that 
William, Joseph, and Sewall have each tilled the 
ancestral acres and gone to their reward, and two 
generations are still living there. The hearth- 
stone around which the family gathered when the 
red men were their enemies was the place where 
anxious mothers and children gathered on the 
morning of April ,19, 1775, when the men fell in 


with Captain Ford's company and hastened on 
towards Concord. 

At some distance from the Bowers homestead 
was the home and mill of John Ford. He was a 
son of Robert Ford, born in Haverhill in 1738, and 
early settled in East Chelmsford (Lowell), near 

the Pawtucket Falls. He was a strong man, of an 
adventurous spirit, and was led to this locality by 
the advantao-es which it afforded for millinsf. He 
obtained the land bordering on the Merrimack, 
either whole or in part, from the Indians, He 
erected a mill near the falls, and a house not far 
away for the comfort of his family. Here he took 
up his abode, and was recognized as an influential 


citizen of Chelmsford long before any one thought 
of rebelling against the king, whose faithful sub- 
jects they were. In the bustling city of Lowell, 
where so little remains to remind us of the pio- 
neers, it is refreshing to turn aside from the hum 
of the many spindles, follow the course of the 
river a short distance, and come to the Ford es- 
tate, where the descendants of the brave captain 
still live, and with most commendable pride cher- 
ish the old homestead of the founder. 

To be sure changes have come. The rude dwell- 
ing which sheltered the brave miller and patriot 
has given way to two commodious residences, both 
occupied by Ford descendants. The roof-tree set 
up by Captain John Ford after the Revolution is 
that which shelters the fourth generation. Here 
I received a most cordial welcome from Mrs. 
Henry G. Lambert, to whom I am indebted for 
the following story : — 

" The first of our family here was John Ford. 
He was succeeded by a son, Elisha Ford, and 
daughters ; of the latter, Sally married John Cor- 
liss of Haverhill, N.H. Their son, John L. Cor- 
liss, was succeeded by daughters. Sarah Corliss 
married' Henry A. Lambert of New York, and 
Helen married William D. Earl of North Attle- 
boro, Mass. I am a great-granddaughter of Cap- 
tain John Ford, and there are seven of the next 
generation who cherish these ancestral acres. 
Grandfather Ford was at work in his mill when 


the alarm-gun sounded from the hill not far away. 
But the miller was so well posted on the state of 
affairs that he knew what that meant, and he lost 
no time in adjusting his saw, and making things 
ready to leave. He refreshed himself with a bowl 
of bread and milk, which he ate when standing by 
a window seen in the cut, the one-story part of 
the dwelling being his home at that time. He 
mounted his horse, and made haste to the centre 
of the town of Chelmsford. He was joined by 
neighbors on the way, and as you have already 
learned, was in so great haste as to decline the 
thoughtful invitation of the good pastor to go into 
the meeting-house for prayers." 

*' Grandfather Ford," continued my informant, 
*' was familiar with military life long before the 
call to arms on the morning of April 19, 1775. 
He had been obliged in his early days here at the 
mill to keep a close watch for the Indians, who 
were inclined to make some trouble at times ; and 
on one occasion he had an experience which re- 
sulted in putting an end to the annoying party. 
While such incidents are not altogether pleasant 
to recall, they serve to show the nature of the 
preparation which Captain Ford had for the ser- 
vice of a true patriot in 1775." 

The family story around the old hearth-stone 
becomes doubly real through the presence of the 
sword carried by Captain Ford from this place to 
the battle of Bunker Hill, also his musket and pow- 


der-horn used in the Continental army. Among 
numerous papers that belonged to the patriot are 
two commissions. The first is to John Ford as 
'' captain of a company, raised by this Colony as a 
temporary re-enforcement to the American army, 
until the first day of April next, at Watertown, 
7th day of February, 1776, in the i6th year of the 
reign of his Majesty, King George the third. By 
command of the major part of the council." 

The other is to appoint John Ford as '* captain 
of the First company in the Regiment of Foot, 
whereof Ebenezer Bridge is colonel, raised by the 
Continental Congress aforesaid for the Defence of 
the Colony. By order of the Congress, Jos. War- 
ren, President, P. T." 

Among other papers which these descendants 
cherish with a genuine spirit of patriotism are the 
following : — 

Chelmsford, Jan. 26, 1776. 

Received of Philip Parkis three pounds, twelve shilHngs, 
lawful money, in full for doing a turn for him in the Conti- 
nental army, this present year. 

Sylas Parker. 

Attested: Francis Southack. 

Camp at Cambridge, June 27, 1775. 
Received of Eben Bridge Fifteen pounds in Province notes 
for my company. 

^15. John Ford. 

In the summer of 1776 another company was 
raised in Chelmsford, and stationed at Ticonderoga 


under command of Captain Ford. While there 
the captain kept a regimental order-book, which 
is still in the family. In this book, now one hun- 
dred and twenty years old, are recorded regimen- 
tal orders, trials by courts-martial, promotions of 
officers, punishments of disorderly soldiers, and 
other matters pertaining to a military encamp- 
ment. Every day are recorded the parole and 
countersign of the camp. From this book I quote 
a few orders, being careful to preserve the exact 

form and spelling. 

August 24, 1776. 

Ensign Lee of Capt. Spauldings company, Col. Reed's 
Regt. tryed at the Court- Marshal for bying a Gun belong- 
ing to Col. Marshfield Regt. & Defacing the name New 
Gersey & the No that was mark*^ on it. Pleading Guilty — 
the Court Sentenced him to Return to Col. Marshfield & 
to be Repromanded by the Commander of the Regt. at the 
H. D. of the Regt. Richard Buck of Col. Patisons Regt. 
tryed at the same gl Court Marshal for Refusing his Duty & 
striking his officer. The Court finds him Guilty & Sentences 
him to Receive 39 Lashes on his Bare Back for Each Crime. 

James Conner of Capt. Osgoods Company in the Regt. 
Commanded by Lt. Col Ward is tryed by the same g^ 
Court Marshal for Desertion & pleads Guilty, & is Sentenced 
to Receive 39 Lashes on his Bare Back & ware a with on 
his neck for 14 Days for a mark of Igno-minion, & if he is 
seen without it is to Receive 100 Lashes, he is to return to 
his Duty in his Battalion, the Gel approves all the a bove & 
orders the Execution's to-morrow morning at guard mount- 
ing. — John Ford. 

Town records, old grave-stones, and family tra- 
ditions prove to us that many young patriots, the 


pride of New England homes, perished from dis- 
ease during this northern campaign, in the sarwe 
locality where other patriots from the same towns 
had given up their lives in the service of the king 
in the earlier wars. We have an intimation of 
this in an entry of Captain Ford, under date of 
August 26, 1776 : — 

" After order the commanding officer of each RegSii is to 
send a subbordinate officer to-morrow morning at sunrise to 
Fort George to Bring the Arms of the Dead &^ Discliarged 
of their Respective Regtms to this Place, officer will Receipt 
to the Director at Fort George for the Arms they Receive, 
and on their arrival at this Place Deliver them to the com- 
manding of their Respective Corps/' 

Head Quarters, y^/zi,'-//^/' 31st, 1776. 


The Officers & Soldiers may be satisfied that the General 
has left no means in his Power untry'd to procure medicines 
and every Comfort for the Sick of this Army which the Sta- 
tion & Circumstances of this place will admit. The Director 
of this Department Dr. Stringer was sent to N. York three 
and thirty Days ago with positive orders to return the instant 
he had provided the drugs and medicines so much wanted ; 
since this, repeated Letters have been wrote to N. York and 
Philadelphia setting forth in the strongest terms the pressing 
necessity of an immediate supply of those articles. The 
General is credibly informed that a principal Surgeon is dis- 
patched from N. York above a Fortnight ago with a supply of 
medicines & apprehends that the Badness of the weather and 
Road has alone prevented his Arrival. It is the Soldiers 
Duty to maintain the part he is ordered to defend. The 
same climate affects them, our enemies, that effects us, & the 


favor of the Almighty to whom we have appealed will, if we 
trust in him preserve us from Slavery & Death. The Gen- 
eral recommends it to the Surgeons of the Different Regts to 
communicate to each other the state of the sick in their 
ranks, and their different Diseases, the Remedies principally 
wanted & the comforts which are most in request, for he 
will have nothing unattempted in his power to provide what 
ever he can command for their Recovery. The General also 
desires the medical Gentlemen will consult upon and adopt 
the most proper measures for obtaining those salutary pur- 

Head Quarters, Oct. 8th, 1776. 

The Commissary to issue four sheep to each Regt., 3 to 
the Corps of Artillery, & 3 to the Artificers, at their usual 
time of Drawing Provisions. The Commanding Officers will 
direct the sick & weak Soldiers be supply'd with this Refresh- 
ment. The Commissary is to recon the Sheep in their Allow- 
ance to the Regt. at their estimated weight. 

Head Quarters, Oct. 12, 1776. 
Discharged soldiers are to return in to the commanding 
officers of the Regt., to which they belong, the arms, am- 
munitions, accoutrements, &c, which they may have in Pos- 
session belonging to the public. The commanding officers 
are to see that this order is comply'd with. A Return of the 
names, companies & Regiments of soldiers who have been 
discharged the Service from the first Day of Oct. is to be 
given in to the Deputy Adjutant GenL, to-morrow at orderly- 
Time, afterwards to be given in on Saturdays. 

We have an intimation of the condition of the 
army by a return of Captain Ford's company, 
made on September 27, 1776 : — 


Capt., 2 Lieuts., i Ensign, 4 Sargts., 2 Trumpeters, 33 
fit for duty, 11 on command, 4 sick absent, 34 sick present, 
82 total rank and file. 

Head Quarters, Oct. 15, 1776. 

The Fleet have acted a noble part. Let it not be said 
hereafter that the cause of all America was injured by the 
supineness of the northern army. Capt. Lt. Jones of the 
Artillery will return to the side of Ticonderoga and Major 
Bigelow, being recovered from his late Indisposition, will 
return to the Command of the Artillery on Mount Inde- 

Head Quarters, Octr. 19, 1776. 

Lt. Col". Baldwin ist Engineer will take the Direction 
of the works upon the side of Ticonderoga with the following 
assistants under him. Major Paine, Capt. Newland, Lt. 
Dallis, and Ensign Parrett. Lt. Col°. Pallifor, 2nd Engi- 
neer will take Direction of the works upon Mount Inde- 
pendence with the following assistants under him, Capt. 
Patterson, Mr. Delezenne and two other gentlemen that the 
Col°^. on that side may command. This arrangement being 
settled & the particular works to be completed, determined 
upon, the General has no doubt but the necessary prepara- 
tions for a vigorous Defence will be made with that animated 
zeal becoming soldiers who are also citizens of America. 
Soldiers whose arms have been wet by the late bad weather 
and cannot be drawn, are to be drawn up in squads in proper 
places half an hour before sunset, and there discharge their 
arms. The Regts. who want ammunition may be supplyed 
by applying to Col". Trumbull D. A. G. The troops have 
two days provisions ready dress'd until further orders. All 
the spears that can be spared from the vessels to be deliv- 
ered for the Defence of the French Lines & Redoubts. 

As this campaign was drawing to a close, an 
effort was made to induce the soldiers to enlist 


for the war. Of this Captain Ford makes the 
following record : — 

Head Quarters, Oct. 24, 1776. 
The Commanding Officers of the Regt*. are directed to 
i lb. of buck shott for every man fit for Duty in their respec- 
tive Camps. The honorable, the Congress of the United 
States of America have for the Reward & encouragement 
of each non commissioned Officer & Soldier who shall en- 
gage to serve during the War, further resolved to give every 
above the Bounty of 20 Dollars to each man annually with 
one complete suit of clothing which for the present year is 
to consist of two linen hundng shirts, two pair stockings, 
2 pair of shoes, two pair of Overhalls, a leather or woolen 
jackett with sleeves, one pair of Breeches, one leather cap 
or hat amounting to 20 Dollars in the whole or that sum 
to be paid each soldier who shall procure those Articles for 
himself & produce a certificate thereof from the Capt. of the 
Company to the Paymaster of the Reg'"^" 

It was in this campaign that Rev. William Emer- 
son was taken ill and died. (See Chap. XXIV.) 

The names of the patriots of Chelmsford who 
responded to the Lexington alarm, preserved by 
Captain Ford, are here given, together with the 
ntmiber of days each was in service, in order that 
the reader may more clearly understand the con- 
fused state of the country at thal^ time : — 

Oliver Barron, Capt., 16. Jacob Howard, Private, 10. 

Samuel Stevens, Lieut., 10. Benjamin Spaulding, 1 1. 

John Ford, Sergt., 6. David Burge, 11. 

Benjamin Warren, Sergt., 9. Ephraim Parkhurst, ii. 

Silas Spaulding, Sergt., 16. Oliver Richardson, 7. 

Jonas Pierce, Corl., 6. Daniel Dammon, 18. 

John Spaulding, Drummer, 10. Daniel Sillaway, 9. 



Willard Howard, 2. 
William Bowers, 13. 
Josiah Richardson, 3. 
John Dunn, 3. 
John Twiss, 3. 
Henry Spaulding, Jr., 
Joseph Marshall, 5. 
Stephen Pierce, Jr., 5. 
Samuel Fletcher, 4. 
Joshua Davis, 8. 
Oliver Fletcher, 8. 
Jonathan Peirce, 1 1. 
Nathaniel Farrar, 9. 
Joseph Taylor, 10. 
Thomas Marshall, Jr., 
William Mears, 4. 
John Roby, 17. 
Benjamin Parkhurst, 3 
Moses Barron, 15. 
John Mears, 5. 
Jeremiah Abbott, 5. 
Reuben Parker, 13. 
David Danforth, 4. 
Benjamin Parker, 3. 

Amos Mastes, 7. 
Isaac Kent, Jr., 6. 
David Marshall, 5. 

Benjamin , 5. 

Samuel Marshall, 9. 
Daniel Keyes, 6. 
John Keyes, 6. 
William Dunn, 4. 
Benjamin Barrett, 6. 
James Dunn, Jr., 8. 
Francis Daverson, 7. 
Moses Esterbrooks, 8. 
William Cambel, 6. 
David Chambers, 8. 
John Chambers, 7. 
Jonathan Sprague, 6. 
Isaiah Foster, Jr., 6. 
Samuel Britton, 6. 
William Chambers, 3. 
Benjamin Parker, Jr., 
Benjamin Pierce, 7. 
Josiah Fletcher, Jr., 9 
Joseph Spaulding, 6. 

It was on the 22d of April, 1775, that the Pro- 
vincial Congress voted to raise thirty thousand 
men, and on the 25th John Ford had enlisted fifty- 
seven men — a company of which he was made cap- 
tain. Nineteen pf these were on the roll of those 
who turned out on April 19, and several continued 
through later campaigns with their trusted leader, 
Captain John Ford. In the burying-ground near 
Pawtucket Bridge, a plain headstone records : — 

DiEU Nov. 6, 1822, HL 84. 


Benjamin Pierce, afterward General Pierce and 
the father of President Franklin Pierce, was a mem- 
ber of Captain Ford's company. Of him Joshua 
Merrill, Esq., of Lowell says, — 

" He was born in Chelmsford, now Lowell, 
December 25, 1767. He was bereft of his father 
at the age of six years, and was taken by his 
uncle, Robert Pierce, a farmer, . . . He remained 
with his uncle until April 19, 1775. He was then 
ploughing in a field on Powell Street. He heard 
the firing of guns, and soon messengers arrived 
notifying the inhabitants of the battles of Lex- 
ington and Concord. Young Pierce was then in 
his eighteenth year. He chained his steers, as 
he called them, to a stump, went to the house, 
took his uncle's gun and equipments, and started 
for Concord on foot. The British had retreated 
before he reached Concord. He enlisted in Cap- 
tain Ford's company, and was in service till the 
close of the war. 

" In one of the battles, when the bearer of the 
colors was shot, young Pierce seized the colors, 
and bore them to the front during the conflict. 
In subsequent years. Governor Pierce, when he 
came from his home in Hillsborough, N.H., to 
Lowell to visit his old friends, took delight in 
pointing out to them the stump to which, on April 
19' 1/75' he hitched his steers." 











Chelmsford is peculiarly favored in the un- 
broken family possession of its old farms. The 
first visited in my circuit of this ancient settle- 
ment is the Perham homestead. 

The first white settler on this ferm was John 
Perham. He married in 1664 Lydia Shepley, 
who had come with her parents in the Wenham 

When the Perham pioneer began to subdue 
these acres, the apostle Eliot was looking after 
the interests of the Indians here ; and a company 
of Mr. Perham's neighbors were trustees for the 
aborio-inal owners of the soil, of what is now the 


town of Chelmsford and the city of Lowell, and 
even beyond their limits. "■ The first dwelling," 
says Mr. Perham, the present thrifty owner and 
occupant, '* was doubtless one of the rudely con- 
structed houses of the times, but compared favor- 
ably with that erected by him and the other settlers 
for their minister, Rev. John Fisk, who had come 
from Wenham. The plan for the minister's house 


Perham Homestead, Chelmsford 

is thus indicated ; ' And we do agree and order 
that he shall have a house built for him, thirty- 
eight feet in length, and twenty-four in breadth, 
with three fire rooms. The chimney built with 
brick or stone.' " 

After enduring the hardships of pioneer life, 
and struggling nobly for existence for more than 
a half century in this locality, Mrs. Lydia Perham 
died in 17 10, and was followed by her husband in 
1 72 1. They were succeeded on the farm by a son. 


Benoni Perham, who with Sarah Robbins, his wife, 
was contented in the original house until their 
son Samuel erected a more comfortable dwelling, 
which, with modern improvements, has sheltered 
seven generations. The two who succeed the 
present owner make nine who have dwelt there. 
"Our family had been located here a full cen- 
tury," said the present owner, '* when the drum 
beat to arms on April 19, 1775." The hero of the 
family at that distressing time was Samuel, senior, 
who served the patriot cause on the Committee of 
Safety and in the Provincial convention at Con- 
cord. His sons Samuel and Oliver were among 
those who shouldered their muskets, and served 
in the company from this town. 

Another old homestead visited was the Spaul- 
ding farm. The Spauldings were in the town 
among the first settlers. Edward Spaulding was 
there before the incorporation in 1655, "^^^^ ^^^^ 
among those selected in November, 1654, "by the 
consent of the major part of the town for ordering 
the Public affairs." He belonged to that colony, 
who, with their minister, left Wenham in Essex 
County, and did good service in establishing the 
church and town that have made a most com- 
mendable record for two hundred and forty years. 
Ten generations of the Spaulding family are re- 
corded as having resided in Chelmsford, and fig- 
ured in the history of the town. I met, among 
others of the family, Mr. George Spaulding, busily 


occupied in tilling his acres. He said, '' My father 
was Alpheus, and his father was Joseph Spaul- 
ding, who left this farm in response to the call 
of April 19, 1775, and who gained some notoriety 
in the battle of Bunker Hill. You have read the 
inscription on the slab at his grave, which gives 

Spaulding Home, Chelmsford 

only a part of my grandfather's story. His own 
report of it was, 'I fired ahead of time, and Put- 
nam rushed up and struck at me for violating or- 
ders. I suppose I deserved it, but I was anxious 
to get another good shot at Gage's men ever 
since our affair at Concord. The blow from '' Old 
Put " hit me on the head, made a hole in my hat, 
and left this scar;' and," said the grandson, "it 



was an honorable scar. Grandfather was proud 
of it, and carried it to his grave." Mr. George 
Spaulding, who is of the eighth generation, con- 
tinued his story, *' My grandfather was living at 
that time in an old house on this farm, and had 

just raised the frame 
of this dwelling when 
he was called to do 
a patriot's duty away 
from these acres. 
When the house was 
completed he moved 
into it with grand- 
mother and the chil- 
dren, one of whom 
was my father ; and 
the Revolutionary 
roof has already shel- 
tered five generations 
of Spauldings." 

To make his grand- 
father's part at Bunker Hill more vivid, Mr. Spaul- 
ding brought from the house a silver watch, ticking 
with as much regularity as it was on the morning 
of June 17, 1775, when Joseph Spaulding aimed 
his fowling-piece at Major Pitcairn. Said the 
proud descendant, ''My grandfather brought the 
watch to this house ; and here it has been kept 
ever since, often proving more reliable than some 
modern timepieces." 

Spaulding Watch, used at 
Bunker Hill 


111 confirmation of Mr. Spaulding's story of the 
cocked hat, Mrs. Luther Faulkner of Billerica 
says, "It was one of the delights of my childhood 
to play in that old garret with my companions, the 
grandchildren of Joseph Spaulding. It was the 
storeroom of scores of articles that dated back to 
the early generations of the family. There were 
the rude implements of the farm, the cast-off 
utensils of the kitchen, and many articles of hus- 
bandry that time had relegated to that lumber- 
room. Oh, what a pleasure it was for us children, 
on a rainy day, to amuse ourselves among those 
relics ! The flax cards, the hatchel, the reel, the 
wheels great and small, were all put to our child- 
ish service. Then a season was spent in playing 
soldier, but the boys thought the girls had no part 
in that. ' Grandsir's ' cocked hat was brousfht from 
its hiding-place ; and each boy in turn, crowned 
with the tattered relic, marched up and down the 
garret floor. 'Just as Grandsir Spaulding marched 
at Bunker Hill,' was the childish order. It had 
received holes through the crown, and ' grandsir ' 
was proud of them ; but the old soldier of 1775 was 
gone, and I am afraid we were rough with his hat. 
The hat and all else in that ancient garret were 
consumed by fire ; yet the memory of those days, 
and particularly of the old cocked hat, will remain 
as long as life lasts." 

Another most interesting representative of the 
Spaulding family is Mrs. Mary ( Spaulding) Shedd, 



who, at the age of ninety-three years, delights in 
repeating the stories heard from the lips of her 
grandfather, Zebulon Spaulding, who was one of 
the minute-men of the town. The story of the 

opening Revolu- 
tion, as she tells 
it, confirms that 
already given, and 
her personal rec- 
ollections of the 
second war with 
England are as 
vivid as are those 
of the Civil War. 
Said this venera- 
ble member of 
the family, *'My 
father was Shere- 
biah Spaulding." 
In regard to the 
second trouble 
with England, 
she said, "The 
early spirit of pa- 
triotism was 
quickly kindled 
in his breast, as in others of Chelmsford. He 
presented a most charming appearance to my 
youthful eyes, when he was equipped in his bril- 
liant uniform, and ready to march to Boston. I 

Mrs. Shedd 


was too young to fully realize what the war-cry 
meant ; but there were those in our family who re- 
called the sufferings of Concord, Bunker Hill, and 
Valley Forge, and with tearful faces stood by as 
the soldiers went away, while the old fire of pa- 
triotism was rekindled in their breasts ; but their 
forms were too much bowed with age to again face 
the enemy." 

This delightful lady of the old school, on her 
ninety-third birthday, remarked, "I have known 
eight generations of my family, and have seen an 
entire change in the manner of conducting domes- 
tic matters, as well as business affairs. I have 
seen the loom and wheel, which were kept in 
action in each family, give way to the innumerable 
looms and spindles of the city of Lowell, which 
has sprung into existence since I came to ma- 

I was next conducted to the Hayward farm, 
where five generations of the family have flour- 
ished, Miss Adelia Hayward being the present 
owner. Miss Hayward said that her great-grand- 
father came to this house in 1726. Here in the 
walls are unmistakable evidences of the garrison 
of the early wars ; and the chimney of stone, such 
as the settlers agreed to build in the minister's 
house in 1654, is suggestive of a stronghold. 
There is the hollow passage-way by the side of 
the rough stone, allowing free passage from the 
bottom of the cellar to the chimney top. It was 


to be used for concealment, and for an outlook 
whereby to discern the approach of danger. This 
place, and all such in old houses, are always de- 
lightfully suggestive and interesting. Here the 
rude ladder, over which generations of Haywards 
have climbed, adds to the interest of the place. 


An aged neighbor is a frequent visitor at this 
house, who says her mother often told her that 
it is the place where the women went for safety 
when the Indians were out. 

The Hayvvard family has flourished here for one 
hundred and seventy years ; yet they are modern 
in the town in comparison with the Adams family. 



of whom the farm was purchased a half century 
before the Revolution. The name of Thomas 
Adams is seen in connection with the settlement 
in 1653, and Samuel Adams was early chosen 
as the town clerk. The descendants have been 
among those who have made a record as good 
patriots through all these years, both in Chelms- 
ford and elsewhere. 

Byam Home, Chelmsford 

The Byam estate is one that has been in the 
family since the first settlement of the town. The 
name of George Byam appears in the list of those 
who came from Wenham in 165$. He located 
on the farm where the ninth generation is met 
to-day. The pioneer wisely selected his land 
where there was an abundant supply of running 


water; and Beaver Brook, that wound on its course 
through his meadows, has continued of service 
to eacli of the generations in their time. How 
early the stream was given that name does not 
appear; but in January, 1659, we find: — 

" George Biam and Thomas Barrett are appointed a com- 
mittee to state a Highway that gos to Tadmuck before Thomas 
Chamberlain's hous. The tree at his Hog's Coat is con- 
ckided one bound, and so to Run his due bredth acording 
to order, towards the Broak Cold Beaver hroak." 

George Byam, the first, had three sons, whom he 
named for the Jewish patriarchs, Abraham, Isaac, 
and Jacob. But instead of representing three 
successive generations, they were of one and the 
same ; yet the promise to Abraham of okl was ver- 
ified here, and there has not been wanting a son 
to continue the family name and possession. We 
find Amos, of the fifth generation, with his wife, 
Sarah Pierce, located in the original dwelling of 
only two rooms, one above the other. This house 
has been preserved ; and there are pointed out 
to-day the four corners where the loom, fireplace, 
wheel, and bed were located. 


Very near the centre of Chelmsford is the War- 
ren homestead. This estate belonired to Thomas 
Hinchman, who was an influential man in the early 
days. In the year 1699 ^^^ deeded it to the first 


Joseph Warren. A portion of the original house, 
more than two hundred years old, is disguised in 
a more modern dwelling, which identifies the spot 
where the first hearth-stone was placed. So large 
was the original farm that it admitted of divisions 
and subdivisions, and several families of the name 
or blood are settled there in the enjoyment of a 
competency. For nearly two centuries there has 
been a Joseph Warren on the farm. The donor 
of the farm is pleasantly remembered in the name 
of one of the present generation, who is Edwin 
Henchman Warren. The family has ever enjoyed 
the confidence of its contemporaries, each gene- 
ration doing the part of true patriotic citizens. 
Among the treasures of early military service held 
by the family at the old homestead are a musket 
and a halberd, which doubtless date back to the 
time when Jeduthan Warren served in the north- 
ern campaign in 1776, with a large company, under 
Captain John Ford. The Lexington alarm called 
Sergeant Benjamin Warren from the old home. 
He was in Captain Oliver Barron's company, and 
actively engaged in the running fight of April 19, 


The first Joseph Warren, born in 1670, pos- 
sessed a copy of ''The General Laws of the Massa- 
chusetts Colony, Revised and published by order 
of the General Court, in October 1658." This 
volume has been kept by the successive Josephs, 
and is now one of the family treasures. It is be- 


lieved to have been the property of Jacob Warren, 
the pioneer of the family. 


About two miles north of the centre of Chelms- 
ford is the early home of the Richardson family, 
where I met Mr. Edward F. Richardson, who 
modestly said, " I am of the seventh generation in 
a direct line of our family in possession of this 
farm. The first was Josiah, who, with the other 
male inhabitants, petitioned on May 17, 1658, the 
' honored Court Assembled at Boston ' for the 
privilege of trading with the Indians. They rep- 
resent themselves as located ' into this Rcmoat 
Corner of the wilderness.' " Says the present 
owner, '* My pioneer ancestor built his log house 
in the south side of this great sand-bank, and here 
located with his family. He was succeeded by 
John, Eleazer, and Samuel, who represented as 
many successive generations. Each in turn, with 
his family, enjoyed and improved the homestead, 
doing manfully their part in church and govern- 
ment. It was Oliver, son of Samuel, my grand- 
father, who responded from this place to the 
Lexington alarm. He was but sixteen years of 
age when he was found in Captain Barron's com- 
pany in pursuit of the Regulars. He was among 
those who fought down by the rail fence on June 
17, at Charlestown. He had a great powder-horn ; 
and he always said, *I had a plenty of ammunition 


when the others had none ; for my horn was well 
filled with my own stock from home, and I used it 
to the best advantage possible on that morning- at 
Charlestown.' Oliver was not disheartened by 
these early experiences, but was found with the 
Chelmsford men in the campaign at the north 
when Burgoyne was obliged to give up his enter- 
prise. Oliver, the young soldier, was succeeded 
by his son Francis, from whom the present gene- 
ration received the estate." 

The Adams family early made a record in 
Chelmsford ; and many of that name to-day 
revert to the mother town as the place of their 
origin, while the patriotic deeds of their ances- 
tors for two centuries are an inspiration to them. 

" The family of Adam or Adams (meaning red ; adamah, 
red earth) can clahii the distinction of having the oldest 
individual name on record.'* — Adams Genealogy. 

Two sons of Henry Adams, the immigrant 
leader who settled in Braintree, were among the 
founders of Chelmsford. Thomas, born in 161 2, 
was well established with a large family when he 
was received as a member of the Chelmsford 
Church, ''27''^ of 2^ '56." Samuel, born 161 7, was 
the father of a family when he appears as town 
clerk of Chelmsford. 

They did . a grand work here during the re- 
mainder of their lives. The former died in 1666, 
and the latter in 1676. 


Samuel Adams was the first miller of the town. 
On July 3, 1656, he was granted four hundred 
acres of land to encourage him to set up a saw- 
mill, and later he had one hundred acres more 
for erecting a corn-mill. These mills marked a 
new era in the building of houses, as well as the 
preparation of grains for food. It was on a com- 
manding site just beyond the brook that the miller 
erected his dwelling. Seven generations occupied 
the farm, and presided at the mill ; but it has now 
passed into other hands, as have homesteads of 
other branches of the family. It is apparent that 
the Adams family of Chelmsford was connected 
with Samuel Adams the patriot, and it is interest- 
ing that the two branches should have been so 
positive in espousing the cause of the patriots in 
the Revolution. Pelatiah Adams from this town, 
who died in the service of his country at Cherry 
Valley, is remembered by the monument on the 
Common in his native town ; while Samuel, the 
leader in the Revolution, sleeps in Granary Bury- 
ing-Ground in Boston, with no slab to remind 
the passing stranger of the brave patriot. The 
Adams Library at Chelmsford is a fitting memorial 
of not only the donor, but of all the descendants 
of the early settlers at Chelmsford by the name of 

The name of Parkhurst first appeared in this 
town in 1658, and the family is one of the most nu- 
merously represented to-day. Joseph, from Water- 


town, was the founder here. He married Mary 
Read, and settled on his share of the " New 
Field." He was succeeded by his son Ebenezer. 
Then came Jonathan, who was born in 1701, 
married Hannah Richardson in 1724, and died in 
1737, leaving a widow and seven children. Of 
these Josiah continued the family line in the 
town. He married Elizabeth King. Samuel, one 
of the four children, was a noted patriot among 
the many of the town, acted well his part in the 
various campaigns, and lived to a great age. He 
was fond of fighting over his battles by the fire- 
side, to the delight of not only his own descen- 
dants, but of the many who were inspired by his 
patriotic zeal to do valiant service for town and 
country. A sword captured by the patriot Sam- 
uel, together with his musket, are treasured relics 
of the family. 


A most peculiar interest centres at the Fletcher 
farm. The first pulsations of civilized life in the 
town are traced to this homestead. The name of 
William Fletcher is seen with others on the peti- 
tion of May, 1653, for a grant of six miles square 
'' which bordereth upon Merrimack River near to 
Pautucket, which we do find a very comfortable 
place to accommodate a company of God's people 


upon ; that may with God's blessing and assis- 
tance Uve comfortably upon and do good in that 
place for church and commonwealth." The peti- 
tion was granted eight days later, May 18, 1653, 
on conditions that a reservation should be made 
for the Indians, through the intercession of the 
apostle Eliot. 

"Captain Bill Fletcher's" House 

The common lands were allotted to the settlers, 
William Fletcher being one of them. He was a 
son of Robert of Concord, born in England, and 
made a freeman in the Colony in 1643. He mar- 
ried Lydia^ Bates of Concord, and they set up 
their home in this wilderness in 1653. Tradition 
tells us that the house to which William Fletcher 
conducted his trustful bride was the first in the 


settlement having the pretensions of a frame, and 
was distinguished as having been the place of the 
first town meeting. 

The 22d : the 9th : month: 1654. 

At a meeting then at WiUiam Fletcher's Hous there was 
chosen to officiate in Ordering the PubHck affairs of the 
Place, by the Consent of the Major part of the Town for this 
present year ensuing are as followeth : — Esdras Read ; Ed- 
ward Spaulding ; William Fletcher ; Isaac Lerned ; Simon 
Thompson ; William Underwood ; Thomas Adams. They 
also set apart thirty acres of land for the minister, and pro- 
vided for his house. 

William the pioneer was of the second genera- 
tion in the country, and acted a prominent part in 
the affairs of town and Colony until his death in 
November, 1677. He was succeeded on this farm 
by a son William, born four years after the first 
settlement ; but he was not made a freeman until 
twelve years after his father, William, died. Gov- 
ernor Dudley commissioned him a lieutenant in 
1704, which position he honorably filled until his 
death in 171 3. Although the pioneer here was 
not honored with military titles, yet his record is 
with the faithful patriots of the early days of the 
Colony. Josiah of the fourth generation was the 
next in order on the farm ; and he was succeeded 
by a son Josiah, born October 30, 1719. 

While each generation has continued the name 
of William, other names have appeared in the line 
of possession of the farm. In the sixth generation 


William asserts his birthright. He was born De- 
cember 22, 1754. His cradle lullaby was of the 
conquered French, and in his maturity a military 
spirit actuated him. He was one of four Fletchers 
to respond to the Lexington alarm. His family 
story repeated by his great-great-grandson William 
is : — 

" I was one of those who stepped over the 
body of the first British soldier killed at Concord 
Bridge, when was made 'the first forcible resis- 
tance to British aggression.' " 

The musket carried in the war by one of the 
family is still treasured at the old home by Wil- 
liam of the tenth generation. This musket has 
never been robbed of the old flint-lock and the 
primitive arrangements of Colonial days. Oliver 
Fletcher, the famous town clerk, v/as of the fifth 
generation ; and his record is among those who 
did faithful service for his native town. 

William, the hero of April 19, '75, married, dur- 
ing the years of the Revolution, Lucy Hildrith ; 
and thus the two old and influential families 
were united. William of the seventh generation, 
their son, was born May 18, 1782, and married 
in 181 5 to Orpha Spaulding, thus making a con- 
nection with another of the oldest families of the 
town. This William died in 1846, and was gath- 
ered to the grave with his fathers on the hill. 
His successor was William, born in 18 19. He 
brought as a helpmeet to the old home, Diantha 


E. Dustin of New Hampshire, and second, Eliza 
A. Warren of Chelmsford. Having made a good 
record in the town, State legislature, etc., he re- 
signed the family home in 1893 to Charles Fred- 
eric of the ninth generation, who was born on 
Independence Day, 1846, in time to receive his 
grandfather's parting blessing. He dedicated him- 
self to the cause of preserving the Union early in 
the War of the Rebellion, and kept good the record 
of patriotism begun by his ancestors. 

The next in line of this family is William of the 
tenth generation, who was born in 1872, and mar- 
ried to Jenny A. Fulton on New Year's Day of 
1893. A representative of the eleventh genera- 
tion in the country, and the tenth on this farm, 
is Rachel Fulton Fletcher. This babe is cradled 
within a few rods of the site of the first house 
built by William Fletcher in 1653. Different 
branches of the family have set up homes on the 
paternal acres, the oldest of which is a red house 
with a gambrel roof. It is in much the same con- 
dition as when ''Uncle Bill" Fletcher, at ninety 
years of age, used to gather his children and 
grandchildren about the old hearth-stone, and tell 
his story of personal experience at Concord, and 
in the other events of the 19th of April, '75, and 
of his service with Captain Ford in the northern 
campaign of 1777. 

Not " a man is now alive, 

Who remembers that famous day and year;" 


but it comes to us with double reality when told 
on such homesteads, and from lips first taught to 
lisp the word patriot by those who fought for in- 
dependence at Concord and Bunker Hill. 

Having traced the footprints of early and later 
patriots at the old homesteads, we naturally turn 
to the old burial-ground where — 

"Their names, their years, spelt by the unlettered muse, 
The place of fame and elegy supply." 

Chelmsford proper has but one burying-place ; 
and in this ground, a gracefully sloping enclosure 
hard by the meeting-house, has been gathered the 
dust of many generations. '* Quaint inscriptions, 
the traditional death's head and hour-glass, greet 
you on every hand." 

The oldest stone is — 

Here Lyes y*^ Body of Grace 
LiuERMOAR Wife to Ihon 
LiuERMOAR Aged 75 Years 
Died the 14TH of January 


This and other stones in that enclosure show 
tliat the town had among its brave founders those 
who were born before the Pilgrims landed at 

A rudely carved and sunken stone, standing in 
its fastness with but little regard for its more 



ii_|Pif»iai^r^ ^ ^ ^-^as-**^ 

Major Thomas Hinchman's Military Order 

{Original ozvned by the author.) 



Near by is another small but suggestive stone 
on which is read : — 

Here Lyes y^ Body of 


Aged 75 Years 

Died Jan. 3 1700. 

The memory of the Just is Blessed. 

Cornelius Waldo Stone 

His daughter Re- 
becca married Ed- 
ward Emerson, a 
teacher for a time 
in Chelmsford. This 
shows us how the 
name of Waldo was 
introduced into the 
Emerson family. 

Evidence of the 
youthfulness of sol- 
diers in the Revolu- 
tion is gathered from 

a stone on which is chiselled : — 

erected to the memory of 


Born March 1762, 

Died November 15, 1835. 

A Revolutionary Pensioner, Honorably discharged, from 
the first three years service of his Country 
May 1780, at the early age of 
18 yrs. & 2 mos. 

All honest man. 


This man enlisted to the credit of the town of 
Westford. But among his descendants is Mrs. 
Parkhurst of Chehiisford, who treasures not only 
her grandfather's stories of the war, but also a fork 
made by the young soldier when in service, and a 
small volume brought from the army, which was 
printed in Dublin in 1776. 

On a stone to the memory of Mrs. Hannah 
Foster is read : — 


Son of Mr. William and Mrs. Hannah Foster 

Who Died at Stillwater in the Service of his 

Country, Octr, ye 7th 1777, 

Aged 20 Years. 

Among the six generations of Perhams, the 
patriot Samuel has an honored place. He died 
March 2, 1788, aged 31 years and 6 months. 

At the grave of the pioneer of the family is 
read : — 

Here Lyes ye Body of 


Who Deceased Janu'^'^ ye 21'^'^ 1721 

Aged 88 Years. 

The pioneer pastor. Rev. John Fisk, sleeps in an 
unmarked grave, unless a large table-stone with- 
out inscription was intended to mark his place of 
sepulture. But he is remembered for his unself- 
ish patriotic acts. 

The second minister, Rev. Thomas Clark, who 



died in 1704, is memorialized by a tablet on which 
is read an extended Latin inscription. The stone 
was purchased by " a gift of fifty shillings from 
sundry persons in Chelmsford," as appears by a 
receipt from Rev. John Hancock of Lexington, 
who married a daughter of Rev. Thomas Clark, 

We here sret a hint of the manner in which the 
families of the clergymen of early New England 
were joined in marriage, and a sort of literary 

aristocracy created. 
The second wife of 
Rev. Thomas Clark 
was a daughter of 
Rev. Samuel Whiting 
of Billerica. In fol- 
lowing down the line 
from Chelmsford, we 
find that a daughter 
of Rev. John Han- 
cock and grandaughter of Rev. Thomas Clark 
became the wife of Rev. Nicholas Bowes of 
Bedford, and that a daughter from the Bedford 
parsonage became the wife of Rev. Jonas Clark 
of Lexington, and so was mistress of the Lexing- 
ton parsonage during the Revolution. A second 
daughter from the Bedford parsonage became the 
wife of Rev. Phinehas Whitney of Shirley, and 
served that people from 1770 to 1805. 

The fourth minister of Chelmsford, Rev. Eben- 
ezer Bridge, married a daughter of his immediate 

Minister's Table, Chelmsford 


predecessor in office, Rev. Samson Stoddard ; and 
their daughter Sarah married Rev. Henry Cum- 
mings of Billerica. Among the scores of stones 
at the graves of the patriots of 1775 which afford 
no hint of their peculiar service is one — 



In testimony of their esteem and veneration this sepultrial stone was 

erected to stand as a sacred memorial of their late 

worthy Pastor 


who after having officiated among them in the service of the sanctuary 

for more than a year above half a century, the strength of nature 

being exhausted, sunk under the burden of age and 

joined the congregation of the dead. 

Oct. I, 1792. ^. 78. 

Chehnsford's patriotic minister was represented 
by his son and namesake, Ebenezer Bridge, a 
graduate of Harvard University, who did good 
service on April 19th and June I7th.^ The min- 
ister was faithful in looking out for the comfort 
of the poor of Boston, of whom forty-nine were 
consigned to Chelmsford at one time. There were 
also among his parishioners those who had come 
out on their own account to seek a place of safety. 

April (), lyjS' Capt. Symmes came from Boston to se- 
cure a place of retreat in the present troublesome season at 

1 See " Beneath Old Roof Trees," page 240, 



The pastor records the death of Mr. Fitzgerald, 
who lived in town since the siege of Boston. Rev. 
Mr. Bridge was among the faithful ministers who 
went to camp to look after their townsmen during 
the sieire of Boston. He records : — 

May 29, 1775. Rode to Cambridge and lodged with en- 
sign Hastings at the headquarters of the army. 

May 30. Visited 
our soldiers, dined at 
Capt. Steadman's by 
invitation. Met and 
delighted with the ap- 
pearance and order. 
Saw the spoils taken 
at Chelsea from the 

The sculptor 
did his best work 
in the execution 
of customary em- 
blems on a stone 
to the memory of 
a clerk of the 
town, whose rec- 
ords are a source 

of delight to every one who has an occasion to 

study them. 

" Memento Mori.'''' 


Departed this Life Nov. 30, 1771, in the 63^ Year of his 

Age^ and his Remains are here Interred. 

To the Memory of the Town- 
Clerk, Chelmsford 



most notable couple 
to the scene of action. 
Jonas Clark was the 
eldest son of Rev. 
Thomas Clark, born 
in 1684, and was early 
trained to walk in the 
strait and narrow way 
by a genuine New 
England clergyman. 
He doubtless disap- 
pointed his father in 
not following him in a 

There are two me- 
morial stones in this 
ancient burying- 
ground, which for 
position, design, ex- 
ecution, and preser- 
vation prompt a 
stranger to a dili- 
gent inquiry. They 
mark the graves of 
Colonel and Mrs. 
Jonas Clark, and 
serve to recall a 



Clark Stones, Chelmsford 


profession ; but he was a man of affairs, and be- 
came notable in that direction. He kept a tavern 
in what is now known as Middlesex Village, Lowell. 
It was near the ferry, and a resort for all fashion- 
able people. He was foremost in civil and military 
affairs, and withal "a good Christian." Around 
him gathered the leaders of all branches of society. 
The coaches of Lowell's most wealthy and distin- 
guished citizens of to-day are inferior to those with 
the armorial bearings of the Colonial times, which 
rolled up to that hospitable door where the stately 
Colonel received his relatives and guests, among 
them the Hancocks of mercantile and clerical life, 
and scores of like noted families. Of no less im- 
portance were the Colonel's associates in military 
affairs who also congregated at this house. The 
most timid rustic could not pass the tavern with- 
out turning to catch a glimpse of the spangle 
and glitter within ; while the more brave presented 
themselves at the bar, drank from the common 
decanter, backed up to the flaming hearth, and 
witnessed such displays of Colonial, grandeur as 
could be observed from their standpoint. The 
brilliancy of a dinner-party of those days has no 
parallel for the eyes of this generation. 

With the class of guests who sat at the Colonel's 
board, he might have been excused if he had kept 
silent on the great questions that exercised the 
minds of the Colonists during the latter part of 
his life; but he was bold in his declaration for the 



rights of the Colonies, yet did not Hve to see the 
clash of arms. Wrapped in his scarlet cloak, he 
was laid to rest with military honors in the spring 
of 1770; and it was truthfully recorded, " He was 
honored in his day, and was the glory of his 

Clark Tavern, Lowell 

As ancient is this hostelry 
As any in the land may be. 
Built in the old Colonial day, 
When men lived in a grander way 
With ampler hospitality. 


The Parker homestead is another estate with- 
in the limits of Lowell which belonged to Old 
Chelmsford. While it is apparent that no other 
family has been in possession of the estate since 


the Indians quit their claim to Wamesit, it is im- 
possible to decide when the first Parker set up his 
home on the present attractive site. A petition 
of 1653 for a grant of a tract six miles square, 
" which bordereth upon Merrimack near Pau- 
tucket," bears the names of twenty-nine men, four 
of whom are Parkers. The first recorded birth, 
in 1653, was that of Joseph Parker. A well- 
founded tradition says that the wife of Abraham 
Parker was the first woman who " baked and 
brewed in Chelmsford." The first town clerk of 
the settlement was Jacob Parker, who, we believe, 
at this time was intending to become a permanent 
settler, but later removed, with Sarah his wife, 
to Maiden, Some of their children, however, re- 
mained, and perhaps took up the work at this 
homestead relinquished by the parents. Ben- 
jamin Parker, born- in 1663, is the first family 
proprietor known to have been located here on 
Chelmsford Neck. He married Sarah Howard, 
granddaughter of Major Simon Willard, one of the 
founders of Concord. They were succeeded by 
a son Benjamin, born in 1699, whose son Benja- 
min, born in 1723, continued the family posses- 
sion. The next in order of descent is Jeduthan, 
born in 1763, succeeded by Benjamin, born in 
1803, whose son Henry E. is the present owner. 
He has two sons, who represent the eighth gen- 
eration on the homestead. 

This family, prominent and thrifty for more than 



two hundred and forty years, has not failed of 
a representative in eaeh generation whose filial re- 
lations prompted him to a full appreciation of the 
work of those who have preceded him. There is 
now treasured in this home in the city of Lowell 
an accumulation of papers, among which are re- 
minders of several changes in government from 

Parker Homestead, Lowell 

the days of the Indians to that of the present. 
Through the courtesy of Mr. Henry E. Parker, I 
am able to invite my readers to share in the con- 
sideration of some of them. 

The most attractive are two deeds written on 
skins of animals, so badly dressed as to be a poor 
apology for vellum. A hole in one was doubtless 
made by the bullet which killed the animal. The 
deeds are attached to rollers of primitive make. 


They bear date of December 14, 1686, and convey 
five hundred acres of land to forty-six white pro- 
prietors of Chelmsford. The land was a part of 
the Indian reservation granted for the benefit of 
the tribe through the interposition of John Eliot. 
There were five hundred acres on the north side 
of the river, and a much larger quantity on the 
south side. The chief of these Indians was Pas- 
saconnaway, who died in 1662, and was succeeded 
by his son Wannalancet, who, in following the in- 
junction of his father, was peaceable and friendly 
with the white people. « At the opening of King 
Philip's war he withdrew to the northward rather 
than join in the general attempt to exterminate 
the English settlers. 

As the natives abandoned the VVamesit grant, 
the lands were gradually occupied by individuals 
from Chelmsford and elsewhere; and in 1686 they 
sold the unoccupied tract of five hundred acres to 
Jonathan Tyng and Thomas Henchman, who con- 
veyed it to the early proprietors. Among them 
was Benjamin Parker, then twenty-three years of 
age. This conveyance was in the ''second year 
of the reign of our sovereign lord. King James 
the Second." It was before the union of the 
Plymouth and Bay Colonies, when the first charter 
was in force, and Simon Bradstreet was Colonial 

The Wamesit purchase took place in the very 
month of the arrival of Sir Edmund Andros, who 



soon began to question the titles to all the lands 
held by the settlers, and especially declared that 
deeds from the Indians were no better than 
"scratches of a bear's paw." But the insurrec- 
tion begun in Boston resulted in the expulsion of 
the tyrant, and the people had no trouble from 
that source as to the possession of their lands. 


Commission to Uenjamin Parker, Chelmsford 

The next of these papers to hold our attention 
is a commission granted by Governor Shirley in 
1654 to the third Benjamin Parker as lieutenant 
in the first foot company of Chelmsford, of which 
Ebenezer Parker is captain. It is in the twenty- 
eighth year of the reign of his Majesty, King 
George the Second. 

This paper, bearing the autograph of ''W. Shir- 


ley," reminds us that Lieutenant Benjamin Parker 
was active during that expedition under Sir Wil- 
liam Pepperell which resulted in despoiling the 
thrifty Acadians of their homes and property, and 
scattered seven thousand of the exiles throughout 
the Provinces. Twenty-three of tlie Chelmsford 
men were en2-ao:ed in that service. A o-ood num- 
ber of the victims of that questionable measure of 
war were soon found at the doors of the Chelms- 
ford farmers, to be provided with the necessaries 
of life. 

Benjamin Parker continued to exercise the au-, 
thority of his position through the remainder of 
the term of William Shirley, and also through the 
administration of Governors Phips, Pownal, and 
Bernard, and died soon after Thomas Hutchinson 
became governor. His death in May, 1771, called 
together a notable company, who were treated 
with all the courtesies of the age. 

The next paper to enlist our attention is the 
bill for the funeral supplies. Among the items 
purchased of Samson Stoddard are: "seventeen 
pairs of men's black gloves ; twenty-two pairs of 
women's gloves ; 3 black Handkerchiefs ; 3 Veils ; 
I piece of Black Ribband ; i Black Fan ; 3 yds. of 
Hat-band crape." Another paper shows that nine 
pairs of the men's and two pairs of the women's 
gloves were purple ; one pair was white, and 
others were black. Other items were, '' Rum & 


The religious service at this funeral, according 
to Rev. Mr. Bridge's journal, was confined to a 
prayer by him. He noted that at the funeral of 
Mrs. Parker, a few years before, the prayer was 
offered in the parson's absence by the ** squire," 
the functionary next in order of dignity and im- 
portance in the town. We can see in fancy the 
large company of comrades and neighbors gath- 
ered on this day in the last of the spring month 
to do honor to the memory of Lieutenant Benja- 
min Parker. '' The names of those who are to 
receive the gloves " is a paper which aids our 
imagination ; and we see the long procession form 
in the yard, some with black, some with purple, 
gloves, and the clergyman with white ones. They 
present an imposing appearance as they take up 
the body of their neighbor, and bear it all the 
long way to Chelmsford Centre. There were 
doubtless those who compared the outlay at this 
funeral with that of other similar occasions ; for 
the funeral customs had reached an extreme from 
which there soon came a decided reaction. 

The mourning customs of this time in the Bay 
Colony were such as the early settlers had brought 
from Europe to New England. Black was the 
color worn in the mother country by the people' 
in general, but kings and cardinals appeared in 

Rino-s were also an additional bad<:re of mourn- 
ino-. The extremes to which this custom was 


often carried gave rise to legislation in 1721, and 
again in 1741, but with little effect. In 1743, at 
the death of Rev. Mr. Cooper, the amount of 
eight hundred and ninety-five pounds was col- 
lected in his congregation to meet the expense 
of the funeral, and to put his family, consisting 
of ten persons, and Dr. Colman into mourning. 
Among the items are twenty-nine rings for the 
ministers, and twelve dozen pairs of gloves. 
Isaac Royal of Medford in 1743 advertised, — 

" A handsome mourning coach and a pair of good horses 
to let to any funeral, at ten shillings old tenor, each funeral." 

It was the custom to hang the escutcheon of 
the deceased head of a family from a window, or 
over the entrance to the house from which a 
funeral took place. The last instance in Boston 
was that of the funeral of Thomas Hancock in 
1764, when the family arms appeared over the 
entrance to the famous house on Beacon Hill. 
Scarfs were frequently added to the gifts on these 

The great and most decided change in funeral 
customs came during the contention with the 
mother country. The non-importation act had its 
effect, for imported garments had been more com- 
monly used. In order to render the act more 
effective, the Grand American Continental Con- 
gress assembled at Philadelphia in the autumn of 


1774 passed resolutions. The eighth article was 
as follows : — 

" We will; in our several stations encourage frugality, 
economy and industry . . . and on the death of any rela- 
tion, or friend, none of us, or any of our families will go 
into any further mourning dress, than a black crape or rib- 
bon on the arm or hat, for gentlemen, and a black ribbon 
and necklace for ladies, and we will discountenance the giv- 
ing of gloves and scarfs at funerals." 

The act generally adopted by a vote of the 
towns, coming soon after the funeral of Lieuten- 
ant Parker, leads to the conclusion that it was 
among the last occasions of the kind when this 
custom was practised to an extreme. 

Another suggestive paper of the collection re- 
calls the time of peculiar trial in the Provinces, 
and reads : — 

" Permit Benj^" Parker to pass the Guards from Head 
Quarters, May 23, 1775. J. Ward, Secretary. 

The Chelmsford men were among those who 
had left all in response to the Lexington alarm, 
and were a part of the army holding the soldiers 
of the king pent up in Boston. Benjamin Parker, 
either as soldier, or as one who had come to bring 
supplies, was given this pass, which served its pur- 
pose, and was added to the collection of earlier 

An old wallet comes next to view, and its con- 
tents remind us that among the many questions 



involved in our Revolution was that of the cur- 
rency. There was none more difficult to meet. 
Each colony had its paper money, current within 
its own borders, but passing, if at all, at a depre- 
ciated rate in the sister colonies. This gave rise 
to peculiar difficulties soon after the beginning of 
open hostility. 

The men who had come from beyond the limits 
of the Bay Colony had with them paper currency, 


5 ""^''^"r^^^SS^^^^' 5*'^5?^''52iL*'_Li*?-*^*^j j 

Vx.' ' " '^ ■"' 1"'"' ^'^^ '"A 

Parkkr Garret Treasures, Lowell 

which was not accepted in exchange for the neces- 
saries of life. This seemed hard in the extreme. 
They had left their peaceful abodes to succor their 
neighbors in distress, and when trying to pay their 
own expenses, found their money questionable. 
Our Provincial Congress made an early effort to 
remedy the difficulty by having the currency of 
Rhode Island and Connecticut pass in Massachu- 
setts. They soon empowered the treasurer to bor- 
row one hundred thousand pounds lawful money, 


secured by notes of the Province at six per cent, 
and made payable June i, 1777. They also de- 
sired the other colonies to give currency to their 
securities. In June the Continental Congress 
ordered an emission of notes to the amount of 
two millions of dollars. Similar acts repeatedly 
followed as the war advanced. But a lurking sen- 
timent of Toryism with some pretended patriots, 
as well as ordinary caution on the part of friends 
of the Provincial cause, usually commendable, had 
a depressing effect upon public confidence in 
paper currency. This prompted the Legislature 
to pass an act branding individuals as enemies to 
the country who declined to receive it for any pe- 
cuniary obligation. They all knew that a failure of 
the Provincial cause meant ruin to them, and that 
success might bring redemption of the doubtful 
currency. In the extremity they took the objec- 
tionable paper, and realized but little, if anything, 
upon it. That which remained in their hands 
was at lensith releo-ated to the old red chest, as in 
the Parker family, where the eighth generation 
brought it forth from the garret hiding-place, and 
patiently listened to the story of its intended pur- 
pose by the hearth-stone of early days. 









Although far removed from the seat of war, the 
town of Chelmsford was not exempt from the con- 
tagion which frequently visited the camp of the 
army. In the year 1776, a soldier returning from 
the army called at the home of Dr. Marshall for 
refreshment, as was the necessity of many weary 
men when making their journey on foot with 
empty purses. The physician was away during 
the call of the soldier, but upon his return detected 
evidence of the contagion in the atmosphere, 
which filled him with forebodings of evil. The 
worst was realized. The entire family took the 
smallpox, and Mrs. Marshall and two children died 
from the loathsome disease. In the following 
year Samuel Lufkin and his wife and Solomon 
Keyes died of the same disease, contracted in a 
similar way. 



The old burying-ground of Chelmsford reminds 
one of this entailment of war. On one stone we 
read of Mrs. Hannah Fletcher, wife of Lieutenant 
Benj. Fletcher, who, with four children, perished 
within the space of two weeks in the autumn of 



Fletcher Stone in Chelmsford 

While in the full enjoyment of our wisely insti- 
tuted government, we hardly pause to think that 
our patriotic ancestors hesitated in its formation, 
and trembled at the experiment, even after they 
had fought to be free from the control of the 
mother country. It was easier to find the faults 


in the existing government than to point out the 
reliable remedy. 

Probably no period of our national history has 
been more perilous than that which intervened be- 
tween the close of the Revolutionary war and the 
adoption of the Constitution. 

The Continental Congress^ which was the result 
of an emergency, had done its work. The Articles 
of Confederation which followed were not suffi- 
cient ; and it became apparent that a constitution 
must be formed by which the rights of each State 
would be protected, and also the interests of the 
whole be maintained. Then it was that every 
patriot so situated as to mould public opinion set 
to work to inform himself on governmental affairs. 
The patriotic ministers were looked to as guides ; 
and it can be said to the honor of Rev. Mr. Bridge, 
that he made use of all light at his command, in 
order to be a wise counsellor to his people. 

He records, December 28, 1787, " Spent part of 
the day, as I have done several days, in reading 
Adams' book on government." In February, 1788, 
he records, " Much talk about Constitution of the 
government, its being adopted by the vote of the 
Convention which has been sitting in Boston just 
4 weeks." 

We can but fancy the relief of the people, when, 
on March 4, 1789, the new government went into 
operation, and on the 30th of April following, 
when General George Washington, on the balcony 


of Federal Hall, New York, took the oath of office 
as the first president of the United States. 

It was by these hearth-stones, and others long 
since demolished, that the patriotic women of 
the towns kept busy during the years of the 
Revolution, in preparing the town's complement 
of blankets, stockings, etc., while thinking of the 
husband, father, brother, son, or lover who was 
away in service of his country. 

On January 4, 1776, the House of Representa- 
tives passed an order that four thousand blankets 
be provided by the selectmen of the respective 
towns in the Province, and be paid for out of 
the Province treasury. Chelmsford's portion was 
twelve. This was in the midst of that winter 
when the army was in camp at Cambridge, Med- 
ford, and Dorchester ; and soldiers from the town 
were so near home that friends kept posted on 
their condition, and were continually going to 
camp with supplies. We can imagine with what 
earnestness the patriotic women went to work 
with their wheels and looms to prepare the gar- 
ments ordered. Threads were saturated with tears 
from the eyes of those who had seen their loved 
ones go^ forth in response to the April alarm, and 
who never returned after the battle of Bunker 
Hill, but languished and died in Boston — so near 
and yet so far from those who longed to smooth 
their pillows and soothe their pains. 

We can see in fancy the patriotic minister, Rev. 


Mr. Bridge, going from liouse to house in his 
parish with his reports from camp, after return- 
ing: from a visit to absent members of his flock. 
We can catch his words of cheer dropped here 
and there, and hear him in prayer commending 
them individually and collectively to the care of 
Him who notes the sparrow's fall. 

This service seemed to be for their own people ; 
but in the following year, when the seat of war 
was removed from Massachusetts, there was a call 
for five thousand blankets, and Chelmsford's share 
was nineteen. There was no slackness on the part 
of the people, although they knew not who were to 
be protected from the severity of winter by their 
productions. It mattered not as long as they 
were acting in the patriot cause. Independence 
had been declared ; and having pledged their sacred 
honor to maintain it, they had no inclination to 
halt, although the calls were often repeated. 

Only a few of the implements of domestic 
manufacture are retained in the old town, yet I 
chanced to meet with one which bears a sugges- 
tive inscription. It is a reel made of wood, and 
on it is read : — 

" Miss Foley Carter Her Real 
March ye 6th 1777 
Count your Threads Right 
If you real in the night." 

With this rude implement in my hand, seated 
by the hearth-stone where nine generations have 


sat, I gazed into the blazing fire on the hearth 
until there rose up before me the graceful figure 
of Polly Carter, dressed in her homespun frock, 
with a plaid kerchief neatly folded over her bosom. 
She is turning off the threads on the great wheel 
by the fire, while a stalwart young man from a 
neighboring farm stands by, thoughtfully carving 
with his jackknife the rude letters which, to his 
untutored mind, spell out the name of her in 
whom he has a tender interest. These he hopes 

Polly Carter's Reel 

will serve to remind Polly of him when he is far 
away in the service of his country. 

The scene changes to the following year, 1778, 
when the town was called upon for forty-seven 
shirts and as many pairs of shoes and stockings. 
The same gentle face appears, but with the lines 
of anxious care more plainly seen. She has reeled 
off her day's work of spinning, and is casting up 
the stitches for a stocking. Her eyes rest on the 
simple figures, which remind her of an evening 
less than a twelvemonth ago, but seems like years 


to her whose thoughts are of the bare and bleed- 
ing feet pacing the rough and frozen ground of 
Valley Forge. No stitch is dropped ; and with 
each round of the needles there is breathed a 
prayer for the success of the patriot cause, and for 
the safe return of one whom she loves. 

The extremity to which the patriot army was 
reduced at times is evidenced by the course taken 
by the Chelmsford people to procure supplies ^ for 
the men in camp. A document purporting .to be 
a subscription paper was found in the collection ■ 
of Mr. Henry E. Parker. It reads as follows : — 

"We, the Inhabitants of the town of Chehnsford, Taking 
into consideration the Dificulties and Hardships which our 
Brethren endured and undergo that are in the service of the 
United States of America and in the defence of the United 
States of America and in the defence of the Rights & Priv- 
ihges of the people of said States, do agree to provide the 
articles set against our names." 

The name of Captain John Ford heads the list 
with the promise of " i pr. shoes." Others follow 
with promise of shoes, stockings, shirts, jackets, 
and other articles of clothing. 

We have a most thrilling description of the 
battle of Bunker Hill, together with earlier and 
later experiences, in the letter written by Peter 
Brown to his mother. 

1 The absence of a date renders it uncertain as to time, buf 
our inference is that the suppHes were for the army at Valley Forge 
during the winter of 1777-8. 


Cambridge, June 25, 1775. 
Dear atid Hon\i Mothe?-, — After my duty to you, I would 
inform you of my present state and employment, being 
rather scrupulous whether you may receive these lines, shall 
give but a short sketch of affairs which if otherwise I would. 
Before these long threatened difficulties began among us, I 
had plan'd out to go to Connecticut, where I expected to 
work the summer, but the Allwise in His providence hath 
very differently planned my summer's work, which I hope may 
turn to His Glory and my good. I suppose 1 need not ac- 
quaint you of the manner in which the enemy first approached 
us at Concord. It is more than probable you have had it in 
print long since. When I was first alarm'd I was at West- 
ford, whither I went to take leave of my friends and settle 
some affairs that I had in hand. Was calPd about Day- 
light, or a little after, and rode as post that afternoon before I 
could get to Concord, after which I pursued with the rest and 
fought that day, tarried at Cambridge that night being for- 
bid to go home. Soon after this there was an army estab- 
lished, all business being stagnated, and a great deal wholly 
broke up. I did not know what I could do better than to 
enlist therefore being hearty in the Cause. I did it directly 
(and listed) under Captain Oliver Bates, in Collo. Prescott's 
regiment with whom I tarried awhile till he, our Captain, was 
taken sick and went home, when Mr. Joshua Parker, by 
succession, took his place, and makes his ground good, in 
whose company I remain yet, where I do a Clerk or Orderly 
Sergants business, which requires much care, but the Duty 
is easier and the pay higher than a private soldiers. Friday 
the 1 6th of June we were ordered on parade at six o'clock 
with one days provisions and Blankets ready for a march 
somewhere, but we knew not where, but we readily and 
cheerfully obeyed ; the whole that were called for were these 
three: Collo. Prescott's, Fry's and Nickson's Regiments; 
after tarrying on parade till Nine at Night we march'd down 
on to Charleston Hill against Copts hill in Boston, where we 


entrench^ and made a Fort ten rod long and eight wide 
with a Breastwork of about eight more ; we worked there 
undiscovered till about live in the morning when we saw our 
danger being against Ships of the Line and all Boston forti-' 
fied against us. The danger we were in made us think there 
was treachery and that we were brought there to be all slain, 
and I must and will say that there was treachery, oversight 
or presumption in the Conduct of our officers, for about 5 in 
the morning we not having more than half our fort done, 
they began to fire (I suppose as soon as they had orders) 
pretty briskly for a few minutes then ceasM, but soon begun 
again, and fird to the number of twenty minutes (they kiird 
but one of our men') then ceasVl to fire till about eleven 
o'clock when they began to fire as brisk as ever, which causVl 
many of our young Country people to desert, apprehending 
the danger in a clearer manner than others who were more 
diligent in digging & fortifying ourselves against them. We 
began to be almost beat out, being fatigued by our Labour, 
having no sleep the night before, very little to eat, no drink 
but rum, but what we hazarded our lives to get. We grew 
faint, thirsty, hungry and weary. The enemy fir'd very warm 
from Boston, and from on board their ships that lay in Fer- 
ryway and from a ship that lay in the river against us to 
stop our re-enforcement which they did in some measure ; 
one cannon cut three men in two on the Neck. Our officers 
sent time after time for Cannon from Cambridge in the 
morning & could get but four, the Capfn of which fir'd a few 
times then swung his Hat three times round to the enemy 
and ceased to fire, then about three o'clock there was a 
cessation of the Cannons roaring. Soon after we espied as 
many as 40 boats or barges coming over full of troops it is 
supposed there were about 3,000 of them, and about 700 of us 
left, not deserted, besides 500 re-enforcements that could not 
get nigh enough to us to do us any good till they saw that 
we must all be cut ofi", or some of them, they ventured to ad- 
1 Asa Pollard of Billerica. See " First Blood at Bunker Hill." 


vance. When our officers perceived that the enemy intended 
to land, they ordered the Artillery to go out of the fort and 
prevent it if possible, from whence the Artillery Capt'n took 
his pieces and returned home to Cambridge with much haste, 
for which he is now confined, and it is expected must suffer 
death. The enemy landed fronted before us and formed 
themselves in an oblong square in order to surround, which 
they did in part. After they were well form'd they advanced 
toward us in order to swallow us up, but they found a Choaky 
mouthful of us, *tho we could do nothing with our small arms 
as yet for distance and had but two Cannon and no Gunner, 
and they from Boston and from the shipping firing and 
throwing Bombs Keeping us down till they almost sur- 
rounded us. But God in Mercy to us fought our battle and 
tho' we were but few in number and suffered to be defeated 
by our enemy yet we were preserved in a most wonderful 
manner far beyond our expectation and to our admiration for 
out of our Regiment there were but yj killed, 4 or 5 taken 
captive, about forty-seven wounded & oh may I never forget 
God's distinguishing mercy to me in sparing my Life when 
they fell on my right hand and on my left, and close by me, 
they were, to the eye of reason, no more exposed than my- 
self. When the arrows of death flew thick round me I was 
preserv'd while others were sufTer'd to fall a prey to our Cruel 
enemies. O may that God whose mercy was so far extended 
in my preservation grant me his grace to devote my future 
Life to his divine service. Nor do I conclude that the danger 
is yet over unless God in his mercy either remove our enemy 
or heal the breach — but if we should be called again to 
action, I hope to have courage and strength to act my part 
valiantly in defence of our Liberties & Country trusting in 
him who hath hitherto kept me and hath covered my head 
in the day of battle, and altho' we have lost four out of our 
Company & several taken captive by the enemy of America, 
I was not suffered to be touch VI. 

I was in the fort when the enemy came in, jumped over 


the wall and ran half a mile when balls flew like- hailstones 
and Cannon roat'd like thunder, but tho' I escap'd then it 
may be my turn next. After asking your Prayers must con- 
clude wishing you the best of blessings, still remain your 
Dutiful son 

Peter Brown. 

P. S. I wish very much to come and see you, "'tis in 
vain to think of that now. I desire you to write to me, direct 
to Peter Brown Cambridge, to be left at Colo. Prescotfs 
Chambers in the South Colledge ^ and send by way of Prov- 
idence to Roxbury, from whence it will be likely to come 
safe ; my love to Polly, Sally & Patty, have not leisure to 
write to them in particular, and Conveyance very uncertain, 
hope they will excuse me this time. 

To-day at Camliridge, to-morrow — 
To-morrow the Lord only Knows where. 

P. B.'^ 

A bronze tablet recently placed on the westerly 
side of South College has the following : — 



Built by the Province, 1720. 

occupied by 

The American Army 


Used for Students' Rooms until 


1 Massachusetts Ilall. 

2 The above letter from Peter Brown to his mother, now given 
for the first time in enduring form, confirms a tradition in regard 
to the first victim of the British guns on June 17, 1775. 



It was my good fortune to meet at her home in 
Lunenburg Miss Susan Brown, who related the 
following facts : — 

*' Peter Brown was my grandfather. He was 
born in Newport, R.L, in 1753. He was a son of 

South College (Massachusetts Hall) 

William Brown, and a descendant of Peter Brown, 
who came in the Mayflower in 1620, and settled 
in Plymouth, and whose son Peter, a non-conform- 
ist, went to Rhode Island with Roger Williams. 
My grandfather, Peter, removed to Massachusetts, 


and, as the letter shows, was living at or near 
Concord at the beginning of hostilities. After 
his service in the Revolution he had a temporary 
residence at Boylston, Mass., where he married 
Olive Dinsmore, October 24, 1781. They settled 
in the part of Lunenburg known as Flat Hill, 
at a beautiful situation now occupied by their 

*•' My grandfather was an influential man. He 
was for several years one of the school committee, 
a selectman and coroner. He was chosen dea- 
con, but declined on account of age, and distance 
from the meeting-house. Peter's son William was 
my father. He lived at the old home, and there I 
was born. My grandfather followed the trade of 
a blacksmith in connection with the care of his 

Miss Susan Brown was quite young when her 
patriot grandfather died ; but she has vivid recol- 
lections of him as a man small in stature, and 
busy in making his children and grandchildren 

'' I am the only living grandchild of Peter Brown 
who bears the family name," said Miss Brown, as 
standing at her door in Lunenburg she pointed 
out the old homestead, and directed her guest to 
the delightful locality where the soldier set up his 
home. She then guided me to the burying-ground 
near by, where is read on a slate tablet, chiselled 
out by William, son of Peter, the following : — 




Who Died July 13*11, 1829, 

JE. 76 Years. 

He was a soldier in the Revolution ; was one of those who pursued 

the British in their retreat from Concord to Boston. Was in 

the Battle on Bunkers Hill. He was an honest 

man and a devoted Christian. 


I learned the story of the first blood at Bunker 
Hill from the lips of the venerable officer of the 
town of Billerica, Mr. Dudley Foster, while sit- 
ting with hini by his family hearth-stone. 

Mr. Foster said, '' I am a descendant from 
Thomas Foster, who appeared in this country as 
early as 1659. My grandfather was Joseph Foster, 
the clerk of the town of Beverly in the early 
days. My father, Samuel Foster, came to Billerica 
and settled more than a century ago. 

"It was through the Pollard family, to which 
my wife belonged, that we have the kinship with 
Asa Pollard, the first to fall at Bunker Hill." 

Asa Pollard was the fourth son of John Pollard 
and Mary, daughter of Isaac Stearns, born No- 
vember 15, 1735, at a farm located in North Bil- 
lerica. The family first appeared in possession of 
the land in 1692. Its members were inured to 
hardship, the devastations of the Indians having 
set their teeth on edge at an early age. Asa 
served in the French war, was a scout, and well 


trained in military tactics when the Lexington 
alarm called him from the old home. It is said 
that the musket which he took from the pegs 
above the family hearth-stone on April 19, 1775, 
carried to Concord and to Bunker Hill, was one 
that he had received from the Provincial Govern- 
ment as a bounty for a certain number of Indian 
scalps brought in by him after that questionable 
means was adopted for exterminating the race. 
The scarcity of fire-arms at the opening of the 
Revolution tends to support the family tradition, 
while the recorded votes of the town give added 

Asa Pollard and his comrades were more than 
glad of an opportunity to shoot at Gage's men ; 
for they had vividly in mind the coat of tar and 
feathers given to one of their neighbors while in 
Boston a little more than a year before the open- 
ing of the war. (See "Beneath Old Roof Trees.") 
When the town voted "to look up the old bay- 
onets," Asa Pollard looked up his, and all that 
went with it, and used it like a trained soldier. 
He and his brother Solomon were at Concord on 
April 19, and the latter was in command of the 
minute-men of Billerica at Bunker Hill. The rec- 
ords fail to tell us when the company went to join 
the forces under General Artemas Ward — pos- 
sibly they did not all go at one time. Billerica was 
in the line of march of many of the up-country 
troops, and companies were seen passing along the 


highway at various times. A company from New 
Hampshire reached the town at nightfall ; and 
being weary, it was decided to camp in a farm- 
yard until the following morning. This was done; 
and the combined hospitality and patriotism of 
the farmer's wife were manifested in a substantial 
manner. She made haste to prepare for them a 
genuine New England meal, and in the early 
morning hot beans and rye bread were brought 
forth from the great brick oven to the delight of 
the soldiers. The wooden shovel on which the 
balls of spungy dough were committed to the 
heated bricks by the hands of Mrs. Sarah Man- 
ning^ is still in existence, as a reminder of that act 
of a patriot of the town, who like many another 
did valiant service beneath her own roof. 

Asa Pollard was of the number of men who 
went over on the evening of the i6th of June, and 
labored through the night throwing up earth- 

Said Mr. Foster, " My wife's uncle, Edward 
Pollard, lived in her father's family during her 
girlhood ; and having served four years in the 
Continental army, he had a large store of anec- 
dotes of those days, with which he used to enter- 
tain the young people, who never tired of the 

1 Sarah Heywood of Burlington married William Manning of 
Billerica in 1769. She died in 1838, aged 91 years. Her husband 
was commissioned Second Lieutenant in Captain Kidder's com- 
pany, Seventh Regiment, May 31, 1776. 


veteran's stories, among which was that of Asa's 
death. It was about noon, and they were taking 
their lunch brought over from camp on the previ- 
ous evening. An occasional cannon-ball had been 
fired over from the war-vessels of the enemy dur- 
ing the morning hours, but they had been easily 
dodged by the busy workmen. Asa Pollard had 
seen such missiles before, and made light of the 
poorly directed shot. But about midday this brave 
son of Billerica, when seated on the embankment, 
was struck by a cannon-ball, which severed his 
head from his body. The bloody scene was within 
the presence of Colonel Prescott, who was passing 
down the line at the very moment of the fatal 
shot. Then came the first confusion of the day. 
Men left their places in spite of all orders. They 
were drawn to the spot by the dreadful fate of 
their comrade. Putnam came running up from 
the rail fence, and with most positive words at- 
tempted to force them back into line. Prescott 
ordered the body buried immediately, saying, 
' He's the first to fall, and the only one who will 
be buried to-day.' One of the officers is said to 
have expressed surprise that the soldier should 
be buried without a funeral service ; but the gal- 
lant Prescott saw that the presence of death in 
that form was not conducive to order, and consid- 
ered that there was no other way to maintain dis- 
cipline. The enemy on the vessels had seen the 
confusion resulting from that one successful shot, 





and redoubled their fire. The shot which struck 
Pollard came from the Somerset, the frigate which 
afterwards went ashore near Lieutenant's Island, 
off the Massachusetts coast ; and it is claimed that 
a portion of her hull is yet embedded in the sand 
of that place." 

The body of Asa Pollard rests with the others in 
the soil which drank up their youthful blood. It 
was nearly acentury 
before the people 
of his native town 
took any steps to 
perpetuate his mem- 
ory; but on the cen- 
tennial of his death, 
a tree was planted 
on the public Com- 
mon, where it now 
flourishes to keep 
the young hero's 
memory green. 
Later, the Union 
School buildingwas 
dedicated as the Asa Pollard School, and now the 
local society of the Children of the American Revo- 
lution is known as the Asa Pollard Society. The 
birthplace of the hero has also been suitably marked 
by the Billerica Historical Society and the Foster 
brothers, sons of Dudley Foster and Louise Pollard. 

Dudley Foster. 




The dew of only one night had moistened the 
little grave in Granary Burying-Ground where 
Robert and Mary Rand had laid their first-born 
to rest, when the sorrowful couple were aroused 
by the message, " The Regulars have marched 
out into the country to destroy the stores as it is 

For nearly eleven months the people of Boston 
had suffered the hardships of the blockade. To 
be sure, the sympathetic patriots throughout the 
continent had ministered to them. South Carolina 
had sent two hundred barrels of rice, and prom- 
ised eight hundred more. Wilmington, N.C., had 
sent two thousand pounds currency. Connecticut 
had sent over her flocks of sheep. All New Eng- 
land towns had shared their crops with their 
neighbors in Boston. Maryland and Virginia had 
contributed liberally. George Washington had 
headed a subscription paper with his personal gift 
of fifty pounds. The settlers beyond the Blue 
Ridge had contributed from their scant supply, 


and sent it over the mountains to the distressed 
and sufferinir in Boston. And with these re- 
peated donations had come words of sympathy 
and cheer. The ministers of Connecticut had 
written, " The taking away of civil liberty will 
involve the ruin of religious liberty also." The 
people of Brooklyn, Conn., the home of General 
Israel Putnam, had written, '' Your zeal in favor 
of liberty has gained a name that shall perish but 
with the glorious constellation of Heaven." Yet 
notwithstanding all this aid, there was suffering 
and' untold anxiety in the blockaded town. It 
was not confined to the poor by any means. 
*' The warehouses of the thrifty merchants were 
at once made valueless ; the costly wharfs, which 
extended far into the channel, and were so lately 
covered with produce of the tropics and with Eng- 
lish fabrics, were become solitary places ; the har- 
bor, which had resounded incessantly with cheery 
voices of prosperous commerce, was now disturbed 
by no sounds but from British vessels of war." 
No one could go in and out his own door with- 
out being scrutinized by the British guards that 
patrolled the streets of the town. Even the sor- 
rowful group that had made its way on the 17th 
of April to the burying-ground had been under 
the watch of the soldiers of the king. The grief 
of the Rand family naturally led them to be more 
sympathetic for the wounded and dying who were 
brought in to Boston in the night of April 19; 


but they were avowed patriots, and consequently 
not in harmony with the officials whose move- 
ments had occasioned the distress, and they could 
do but little for the sufferers. 

The Rands were " well connected and well to 
do," but in this exigency were poor even in their 
wealth. Robert Rand, the head of the Boston 
family, was born in 17 19. He was a descendant 
from Robert Rand of Lynn, who in 1692, by a 
vote in town meeting, was granted the right to 
sit with six other aged men in the pulpit. Mary, 
his wife, was daughter of William Simpkins, a 
jeweller and silversmith of considerable distinc- 
tion. They were married on June 3, 1773, and 
had but just completed a year in a home of their 
own when the port of Boston was closed. Be- 
lieving that an Englishman's home is his castle, 
the Rand family maintained their position until 
the infections that followed the army made it 
dangerous to health and life, when it was decided 
that Mrs. Rand should leave the town. A good 
many had gone to Chelmsford, and availed them- 
selves of the hospitality bountifully extended to 
all ; and a home was found there for Mrs. Rand 
through the influence of her physician, Dr. Dan- 
forth. The change was made by his advice, and 
he naturally took steps to a her in leaving the 
town. The restrictions in regard to the amount 
of goods taken away were very annoying to this 
family, for they had an abundance ; but Mrs. Rand 


in disguise presented herself for a permit. She 
had a suspicious trunk, which she refused to allow 
out of her sight, and this led the sentinel to op- 
pose her going; but Dr. Danforth's son Tom, a 
family friend, yet a Tory, interfered with seeming 
roughness of manner, and said, " Let the old 
woman go;" and she was allowed to leave the 
town. The contents of the trunk was chiefly 
gold coin, which was used by her for her own 
comfort, and in dispensing to the comfort of 
others who had fled from the blockaded town 
under less favoring circumstances. There was one 
memento, however, which the sorrowing mother 
could not leave behind in the deserted home. It 
was more precious to her than the coin which it 
accompanied ; for it so vividly reminded her of the 
little one who had borne her name for a few short 
months and passed away, and whose silent rest- 
ing-place was now at the mercy of the enemy. 
This memento was only a pincushion, on which 
the mother read, " Welcome, little stranger, to 
Boston, though the port is blocked up, 1774." 

Chelmsford was truly a patriotic town, and her 
people were continually sending supplies, as were 
those of other towns, to the sufferers who were 
obliged to remain in Boston ; while those who 
made their temporary home in Chelmsford were 
as comfortable as kind, sympathetic patriots could 
make them. The slightest report of movements 
in Boston was eagerly scanned, and the news of 



the evacuation brought cheer to them all. The 
Rand family hoped to be soon re-established in 
their own home, but the army had left an entail- 
ment of disease which required the most vigilant 

Rand Pincushion 

attention and severe restrictions in order to eradi- 
cate it. In July, 1776, the selectmen passed an 
order that people going out of town must carry a 
certificate from the medical authorities proving 
that they had been "■ smoked and cleansed," and 


were free from all possibility of infection. The re- 
peated outbreak of the smallpox, and general dis- 
arrangement of affairs, prevented individuals from 
returning for many months. Among them was 
Mrs. Rand. The year 1777 had come before this 
lady again welcomed her friends around the family 
hearth-stone in Boston. But the cradle left tenant- 
less was again occupied ; and there was recorded 
in Chelmsford, ''Born December 14, 1776, Mary, 
daughter to Robert and Mary Rand of Boston." 

Boston seemed to the returning family a very 
different place from that which they had left. 
Many of their neighbors who adhered to the king 
had fled with the army and could not return, 
while those who espoused the patriots' cause, and 
remained in the country, found it the work of 
months and years to restore their homes and pub- 
lic buildings to as good condition as they were 
in when the army of the king took possession of 
the town ; and the old burying-grounds bear silent 
testimony to the devastations of the army of the 

Four children grew up together in the home of 
Robert Rand, but only three of them could claim 
Boston as their birthplace. They were prominent 
among the families of the enterprising merchants, 
and popular in the best society of the town. 

But a few months after the little stranger was 
welcomed to the Rand family at Chelmsford, there 
was a son born in the Fitch tavern at Bedford ; 


and he was called Jeremiah, after his father and 
grandfather. The war for independence was still 
being carried on, and much of local military in- 
terest centred in this Jeremiah Fitch tavern. It 
was very natural that the namesake of the father 
should be early impressed with the story of the 
morning of April 19, 1775, and of his father's ex- 
perience as sergeant of Bedford minute-men at 
Concord, and in the running fight of that day. 
These early impressions were never forgotten, but 
were often the subject of conversation by the old 
hearth-stone and in the busy world. 

The family plan had been that Jeremiah should 
be trained to agricultural pursuits, and succeed 
his father on the farm, which was carried on in 
connection with the business of a country tavern. 
But the boy had no inclination in that direction, 
and at the age of fourteen years left home, and 
went to Charlestown with a capital of twenty 
cents, and unaided by any one set to work to pro- 
cure employment. He soon secured a situation 
with Mr. Samuel Ruggles, and from that time re- 
lieved his parents from all pecuniary assistance. 
While in Charlestown the young man had con- 
stantly before his eyes the redoubt on Bunker 
Hill, and the hastily made graves of those who 
were companions in arms with his father when 
the Lexington alarm called them from their homes. 

The success of the country boy, Jeremiah Fitch, 
while in Charlestown, made a way for him to cross 


over to Boston, where he soon set up business for 
himself, but by the failure of his patrons he was 
involved in embarrassments ; yet with the deter- 
mination befitting a son of a hero of April 19, '75, 
young Jeremiah struggled on until he had fully 
extricated himself. 

He was always esteemed for straightforward- 
ness and integrity in his dealings ; for nearly a 
score of years he was a director of the Union 
Bank and for the Mercantile Marine Insurance 
Company. For many years he was a member of 
the Board of Health, retiring in 1821 to become 
a member of the last Board of Selectmen of the 
town of Boston ; in 1824 he was a member of the 
Common Council, and in the following year an 
Overseer of the Poor of the City of Boston. 

It was his conduct in adversity that won for 
him friends who offered capital and other assist- 
ance, with which he made his way to fortune. 
But he never forgot his early associations. The 
old tavern where his father served the minute- 
men on the morning of April 19, 1775, was sacred 
to him ; and he cherished the hearthstone by 
which he had been cradled during the war. His 
delight was in ministering to the comforts of his 
parents and friends of his youth. 

As a successful, enterprising merchant of Corn- 
hill, he met the beautiful young lady, Mary Rand ; 
and on May 10, 1804, they were married in Boston 
by Rev. William Emerson, who, having left his 


Harvard parish, had already made a decided im- 
pression as a dignified pastor of the First Church 
of Boston. 

The united efforts of the young couple were re- 
warded with marked success ; public honors were 
justly conferred upon the merchant by his asso- 
ciates and fellow-townsmen. He occupied many 
positions of trust within the gift of the voters of 
Boston ; and as a mark of respect for the son of 
Old Bedford, the name of Pond Lane was changed 
to Bedford Street, which it now bears. 

While in the midst of his flourishing business 
as an importer of dry goods, the second war with 
England came on. This brought vividly to mind 
the trying experiences of the Fitch and Rand fam- 
ilies during the Revolution. 

Having kept in family possession the old home 
at Bedford, Jeremiah Fitch had a safe retreat 
there ; and he recorded under date of September, 
1814, "My family removed to Bedford in conse- 
quence of the war, moved my goods from the 
store the same day. Returned September 29, 
after about three weeks." Jeremiah Fitch re- 
peatedly manifested his loyalty to his native town. 
His sentiments rebelled against the common use 
of the cannon-ball which, fired from the patriot 
camp of Cambridge, struck the Brattle-street 
Church during the siege of Boston. Mr. and Mrs. 
Fitch were attendants at this church ; and being a 
member of the standing committee, he succeeded 


in having the ball, that had done duty for many 
years as a weight at the front gate of a neighbor's 
residence, returned, and embedded in the front wall 
of the edifice, where it was kept so long as a re- 
minder of the months when Gage's army was 
hemmed in by the Provincials. 

The record of this worthy couple is with that 
of the truly successful of the world. The name 

Slippers of Mary Rand 

Mary Rand has been faithfully continued through 
successive generations ; and among the family 
treasures are a silver tankard made by William 
Simpkins the silversmith for his daughter Mary 
when she married Robert Rand ; the pincushion 
which marked the advent of the first Mary to the 
Rand family during the siege ; the slippers and a 
sample of the dress worn by Mary Rand when she 
married Jeremiah Fitch ; five generations of sam- 
plers, and other tangible reminders of two families 
worthy to be perpetuated in the annals of Boston 
and Bedford. 










'Tis still observed those men most valiant are 
That are most modest ere they come to war. 


The act of incorj^oration by which early settle- 
ments in New England were granted the legal 
authority of towns was conditioned upon the set- 
tlement of an orthodox minister of good conver- 
sation, and a provision for his support. His was 
the leading position in the town, and the influence 
which he exerted was correspondingly great. His 
judgment was seldom questioned, his authority 
never doubted. 

When the English and French were contend- 
ing for possession in North America, the minis- 
ter went forth, with his soldier parishioners, and 


served as their chaplain. His voice was heard 
from the pulpit and from house to house in the 
interest of freedom during the years of the Rev- 
olution. In the siege of Boston he divided his 
time between his parish at home and his parish 
in camp. When the seat of war was removed 
from Massachusetts, the faithful minister did not 
hesitate to take up his cross and appear in the 
midst of the army, though far from his home. In 
many instances this trusted friend shouldered a 
musket and carried his Bible also. 

As types of the patriotic ministers during the 
early and later wars may be cited the four Emer- 
sons. So large was their place in the affections 
of their people, and so broad was their influence, 
that they were styled "patriot preachers." They 
were Reverends Joseph, William, John, and Dan- 
iel Emerson, — settled ministers of the Congre- 
gational order in four prominent towns of New 
England when the Revolution burst upon the 
Colonies. Their respective parishes were Pepper- 
ell, Concord, and Conway in Massachusetts, and 
Hollis in New Hampshire. They had been labor- 
ing for the upbuilding of these towns for some 
years before the Revolution, and been faithful 
servants of the Crown. They had often read 
from their pulpits official proclamations for pub- 
lic fasts and thanksgivings, and sincerely offered 
up the prayer, ''God save the king." But when 
Britain's sovereign proved unfaithful to his sub- 


jects, these Emersons espoused the cause of the 
oppressed. The alarm on that April morning, — 

"Through every Middlesex village and farm," 

met with a ready response on the part of each 
of these ministers ; and before the evacuation of 
Boston one of them had passed from earth, and a 
second joined him before the close of the year 

These men were not only closely allied in pro- 
fession, but were united by the endearing ties of kin- 
ship. Reverends Joseph, William, and John were 
brothers, and their sister Hannah was the wife of 
Rev. Daniel Emerson. Thus four of the children 
of that noted minister of Maiden, Rev. Joseph 
Emerson, were in full sympathy in their work at 
this trying period of the history of our country. 

Amone: the ancestors of the Emersons in this 
country must be cited Rev. Peter Bulkley, a pio- 


neer, and the first minister of Concord ; Rev. 
Joseph Emerson, a pioneer and minister of Men- 
don, who barely escaped with his life when the 
village was destroyed by the Indians ; Rev. Sam- 
uel Moody, a pioneer and minister of York, Maine ; 
and Deacon Cornelius Waldo, one of the Wenham 
Colony, who emigrated in 1655, and became one 
of the founders of the town of Chelmsford in the 
Bay Colony. 

Rev. Peter Bulkley was a man of considerable 
property in Odell, Bedfordshire, England. He 
was among those who, being silenced by Arch- 
bishop Laud for nonconformity, crossed the At- 
lantic in 1634 to New England, and became one 
of the little company who pushed out through the 
tangled wood, and founded the town of Concord, 
and there spent most of his fortune as a pioneer 
of civilization. *' He was addressed as father, 
prophet, and counsellor by his people, and by all 
the ministers of the country." — Shattuck. 

Rev. Joseph Emerson was settled in Mendon, 
December, 1669. His salary was forty-five pounds 
for the first two years, to be paid as follows : — 

" Tenn pounds at Boston yearly at some shope there, or 
in money at this town. The remayning to be made up, two 
pounds of butter for every cow, the rest in pork, wheat, 
barley, and soe to make the year's pay in work, Indian corn, 
rye, pease, and beef. After the second year he was to be 
paid fifty-five pounds yearly, and soe on as God shall enable 
them. All differences between the minister and the town 


were to be referred for adjudication, to the churches of Med- 
field, Dedham, and Roxbury." 

This ministry was cut short by King Philip's 
war, in 1675, when Rev. Mr. Emerson fled to the 
home of his father-in-law, Rev. Edward Biilkley,i 
at Concord, and there died in 1680. 

Rev. Samuel Moody, or Father Moody, of Aga- 
menticus, was the valiant minister of York, Maine. 
He did not hesitate to exercise his full authority. 
" When the offended parishioners, wounded by 
his pointed preaching, vi^ould rise to go out of 
church, he cried out, ' Come back, you graceless 
sinners, come back!' And when they began to 
fall into ill customs, and ventured into the ale- 
houses on a Saturday night, he would go in after 
them, collar the sinners, drag them out with rous- 
ing admonition. His charity was without stint. 
He gave away his wife's only pair of shoes from 
her bedside to a poor woman who came to the 
house one frosty morning barefoot. When his 
wife, trying to restrain his unreasonable generos- 
ity, made him a purse that was opened with dififi- 
culty, he gave away purse and all." 

Deacon Cornelius Waldo of a family of London 
merchants was born in 1625. He came early to 
this country, and settled in Essex County, and 
later went with Rev. John Fisk and others to the 

^ Edward Bulkley left his parish at Marshfield to succeed his 
father at Concord, where he labored until his death in 1696. 


town of Chelmsford, where he completed his use- 
ful life. A simple stone in the burying-ground 
tells the following : — 


Aged 75 Years. Died Jan. Ye 3, 1700. 

" The Memory of the Just is Blessed.'''' 

The line of connection is as follows : — 
Rev. Joseph Emerson of Mendon married Eliza- 
beth, daughter of Rev. Edward, and granddaughter 
of Rev. Peter Bulkley of Concord. Edward, son 
of Rev. Joseph Emerson and Elizabeth Bulkley, 
married Rebecca, daughter of Cornelius Waldo. 
Their son. Rev. Joseph Emerson of Maiden, mar- 
ried Mary, daughter of Rev. Samuel Moody. Jo- 
seph, William, John, and Hannah were the children 
of Rev. Joseph and Mary Moody Emerson. 

While Edward Emerson of Chelmsford was not 
a minister, he was early found to be a leader in 
educational matters. He was the town's school- 
master in 1698, and in 1703 was a member of a 
board of school committee. On his grave-stone 
he is thus recorded, — 


Some time Deacon of the First Church 

IN Medway. 

He was noted for the virtue of patience, and it is a family 
tradition that he never complained but once, when he said 
mildly to his daughter, that her dumplings were somewhat 
harder than needful, but not often. — O. W. Holmes. 



Our four patriot preachers were graduates of 
Harvard College. They were young and unmar- 
ried when they entered their pastoral work. Rev. 
Daniel Emerson was from Reading. We shall 

Joseph Emerson's Chair, Pepperell 

consider him here for another reason than that 
of marriage. 

Elizabeth Bulkley, widow of Rev. Joseph Emer- 
son who died at Concord in 1680, married, in 
1682, John Brown, Esq., of Reading. This union 
brought the Emerson and Brown children of 


former marriages together, and resulted in the 
marriage of Peter Emerson and Anna Brown, 
who became the parents of Daniel Emerson. He 
was born in 1716, and graduated at Harvard Col- 
lege in 1739. He was settled as the first minis- 
ter of Hollis, N.H., in 1743, and in the autumn 
of the following year brought his bride, Hannah 
Emerson, from the Maiden parsonage to his home 
in the comparative wilderness. 

The settlement of Rev. Daniel Emerson in a 
home of his own with a guaranty of support ful- 
filled the conditions of incorporation, and the 
town of Hollis began a prosperous record. 

While busy in clearing the land and erecting 
homes, the settlers were obliged to turn their at- 
tention to war. The kinsf's demand for service 
was at the northward, and was met with a ready 
response from the men of this new town, the min- 
ister among them. 

It was my good fortune to meet in Hollis Mrs. 
Levi Abbott, at her attractive home, within or 
near the limits of the original grant to the minis- 
ter, her great-grandfather. Mrs. Abbott said, — 

" It was about twelve years after my great- 
grandfather began his ministry among this peo- 
ple that he felt called upon to go into the army 
contending against the French and Indians. Con- 
sequently he left his parish, his wife, and a half- 
dozen little children, and went to the northward 
as chaplain, in a regiment commanded by Colonel 


Joseph Blanchard of Dunstable. He was absent 
about six months. During his absence he kept a 
journal, which is now treasured in our family. It 
is styled by the minister, ' A Journal of My Pro- 
ceedings with the Army to Crown Point.' " 

From the yellow leaves I have copied the fol- 
lowing entries : — 

Jicly ye ^, 1755, being Tuesday. 

Sat out from my own House after com''ng ourselves f 
God by Solemn Pr. in wh. Br. Emerson was greatly inlarged. 

Went to Lichfield & Preached from , in wh. Exercise I 

enjoyed some inlargement. O that I might be used as an 
Instrument to Glorify God ! Went that night to Gen. Starks 
at Derryfield [Manchester] where I was kindly entertained 
with Rev. Dr. Cummings. 

He preached on July 9, and then went on to 
Rumford (Concord, N. H.), where he was enter- 
tained by Mrs. Walker, the wife of the minister, 
and mother of Hon. Thomas Walker, a famous 
patriot in the Revolution. On Friday of the same 
week he went under guard to the army at Bakers- 
town, where he was kindly received '' by ye Col's 
of ye Army," and began his service as chaplain. 
He records : — 

" I lodged in ye Camp much better than I feared, slept 
some & rose refreshed early in ye morning." 

On the following day he saw — 

" Need of more wisdom, zeal & courage than in any station 
of life I have been placed in." 


He preached twice on his first Sabbath in camp, 
but found the soldiers little disposed to attend. 
He notes that lodging on the ground was more 
bearable than at first. 

On Monday, July 14, he writes: — 

" I visited some of the inhabitants who came to Stevens- 
town while ye Regiment could protect them.'" 

On the following day he was not able to go to 
prayer with the regiment, but two days later re- 
cords : — 

" Had a shock of ye fever & ague. Col. Blanchard prayed 
with ye Regiment ; at night was exceedingly kind, urged me 
to take his couch to lodge in. . . . This day wrote to my 
dear ch. & people." 

On the 20th he made record of an order for the 
regiment to go to join the army at Albany, and on 
the following day, of his having leave to go home. 

" To be with my dear family & people on the Day of Fast- 
ing & Prayer." 

He preached at Suncook and Rumford on the 
way to Hollis, and recorded that it was harder to 
2:0 from the sfround to the bed than from the bed 
to the o:round. He reached his home on the 22d, 
when his record is : — 

" Almost overcome with the heat, but found my Dear 
Partner & children well. How pleasant it is & how great a 
Blessinor to have such a wife as God has crowned me with." 


The following day was observed as a Fast 
through the Province. The minister's parents 
came from Maiden to visit their son. 

On July 30, the Hollis minister set out for Al- 
bany, was joined by Colonel Blanchard, who ac- 
companied him on the way to the Hudson River. 
They reached Albany on Tuesday, August 12, 
when Rev. Mr. Emerson made the following en- 
try : — 

" Found it a compact Place, hut ye buildings not so gay 
as in our seaport town, tarried there all night & the next day, 
but I wanted to get to my Business at ye Flats 6 miles above 

He speaks of being comfortable on his armful 
of straw. 

August 24 was Sunday, and this chaplain 
preached to soldiers on both sides of the river. 
On the following day he dined with Colonel 
Schuylerl Illness seems to have followed him, 
but he prayed four times each day. He divided 
his service between the troops lodged on either 
side of the river. 

In the early days of September he records : — 

" I saw some Indians who sang and danced in a very odd 
manner as did some before. Yy are pitiful looking crea- 
tures. I pitied Mr. Braynard and honored his memory more 

1 Colonel Schuyler was made a general by Washington in the 
Revolution, and in command of Provincial forces in New York 
for a time. 


yn ever w" I saw ye poor People W" he had spent his life 
among. Some told me yt some of Mr. Bray"ard's Indians 
\vr among those I saw.'' 

His journal continues with details of the jour- 
ney, a skirmish with the French and Indians, and 
on September 19 he writes from Lake George to 
his wife. In this letter he says : — 

" If you could by a window look into my heart I believe 
you would find that you possessed as much of me as ever 
woman did of any man's heart on earth."" 

This letter, penned one hundred and forty years 
ago by the patriot preacher of Hollis, is carefully 
treasured by his great-granddaughter. There is a 
family tradition that the letter was sent from Lake 
George to Hollis on the neck of a faithful dog 
that the minister had taken with him from his 
home for that purpose. 

It is said that when Rev. Mr. Emerson was at 
Crown Point, and his regiment was ordered to 
present arms for inspection, he presented his Bible 
to the officer as his weapon. 

At the opening of the Revolution the Hollis 
minister was about sixty years of age, and he did 
not enter the army; but his patriotic spirit had 
been duly impressed upon his people and family. 
His son Daniel was captain of the Hollis company, 
and went to Ticonderoga in July, 1776, and was 
also captain of a company enlisted in Hollis in 


June of the following year. In 1778 he was in 
command of a mounted company which went to 
Rhode Island, and also of a company in Colonel 
Mooney's regiment, raised in 1779 for the defence 
of Rhode Island. 

In the old burying-ground in Hollis may be 
seen a slab on which is chiselled the following: — 


He was born at Reading, Mass., May 20, 1716. Grad- 
uated at Harvard University 1739, and was ordained April 20, 
1743, *° *^^ Pastoral care of the church and congregation in 
Hollis which then consisted of only 30 Families. He was an honest 
man, given to Hospitality. An affectionate Husband, and tender 
Parent. A faithful friend and patriotic citizen. An Evangeli- 
cal, zealous and unusually successful Preacher of the 
Gospel of Jesus Christ. Highly esteemed by his people, 
his praise was in all the churches, a.d. 1793 ^^^ 

voluntarily relinquished one-half his salary to 

promote the settlement of a colleague. From which 

time his pious walk and occasional labors evinced an 

unabating love for the cause of Christ, until nature failed 

and he fell asleep in Jesus 

September 30, 1801, Aged 85 Years. 

here are also deposited the remains of 
w^ife of the above 
And Daughter of Rev. Joseph Emerson of Malden, 
She lived a pattern of filial obedience, respect and 
affection, and an example of conjugal love and duty ; a 
most tender indulgent and faithful Parent. The delight of her Friends 
and ornament of the Church. She lived the life of a true Dis- 
ciple of Christ. In the constant exercise of active faith in 
His promise. And died in triumphant hope of everlasting 
life in those Regions where charity never faileth 
February 28, 1812, aged 90. 


Rev. Joseph Emerson was settled as the first 
minister of Pepperell, Mass., in 1746. He re- 
ceived, as did the Hollis minister, an allotment of 
forty acres of land, on which he built a house. 

He was longer in becoming established in a 
home of his own than was his brother-in-law, Rev. 
Daniel Emerson. His journal, now in the posses- 
sion of a descendant, shows the occasion of the 
delay with many interesting facts. 

Tuesday, Sept. 6, 1748. Set out for Connecticut in com- 
pany with Peter Powers of Hollis in order to go to New Haven 

His journey and visits by the way occupied the 
time until the 14th, when he notes : — 

Commencement, all things were carried on with the utmost 
decency. They come very little behind Cambridge itself. 

TJuirsday., 15th. Breakfast at College & set out for home 
in company with Mr. Ellis of Middletown & arrived at his 
house in the evening about 34 miles. 

He remained there and at Weathersfield until 
the 17th, when he resumed his journey in company 
with Rev. Jonathan Edwards of Northampton. 
They halted at Hartford, called at Windsor upon 
the father of Rev. Mr. Edwards, who was also a 
minister, and reached Northampton on Tuesday. 

While here. Rev. Mr. Emerson met with Esther, 
the daughter of Rev. Jonathan Edwards. On the 
21st he makes the following entry : — 


Spent the day very pleasantly, the most agreeable family 
I was ever acquainted with, much of the presence of God 
here. We met with Mr. Spencer, a gentleman who was or- 
dained last week at Boston, as a missionary to the Indians of 
the Six Nations. He purposes to set out to-morrow for 
Albany. The most wonderful instance of self denial I ever 
met with. 

After taking leave of the minister who was on 
the way to Albany as a foreign missionary, the 
homeward journey was continued. 

When back in his lodgings, the Pepperell min- 
ister records : — 

Have not met with any difficulty in travelling about 300 
miles. God's name be praised. 

After four busy days in parish work and atten- 
tion to his mother, who had come to visit her 
daughter at Hollis and son at Pepperell, he re- 
cords : — 

Sat., Oct. I. I wrote two letters in the forenoon, one to 
Mr. Edwards of Northampton, and the other to his second 
daughter, a very desirable person to whom I purpose by 
divine leave to make my addresses. May the Lord direct 
me in so important affair. 

Monday, 3. Set out with my mother for Maiden. Dined 
at Col. Ting's »& got as far as Reading. Lodged at Capt. 

After four weeks spent in "journeyings often," 
like Saint Paul, and in close application to paro- 
chial work, together with some time spent in cut- 
ting corn-stalks, the parson records : — 


Monday, Nov. 7. Set out some time before day on a 
journey to Northampton to visit Mrs. (Miss) Estlier Ed- 
wards ^ to treat of marriage. 

A subsequent record shows that the journey was 
performed in safety, but the hopeful parson adds, — 

I could not obtain from the young lady tlie least encour- 
agement to come again. The chief objection she makes is 
her youth, which I hope will be removed in time. 

Months elapsed, and the young minister was 
compelled to abandon his fondest hope. He 
passed through the sentimental Gethsemane with 
true Christian fortitude, yet not without apparent 
mental and physical suffering, and at length mar- 
ried Abigail Hay of Reading. The minister with 
his bride opened the doors of their home to the 
people of his early choice. 

I have shown in Chapter IV. that Rev. Joseph 
Emerson, the patriot preacher of Pepperell, was 
chaplain in the expedition to Louisburg, preached 
plainly of the duty of patriots during the French 
troubles, took a bold stand at the opening of the 
Revolution, and died a patriot's death, October 29, 
1775, at the age of fifty-one years. 

Rev. William Emerson married Phoebe Bliss, a 
daughter of his predecessor in the Concord min- 

1 Miss Esther Edwards became the wife of Aaron Burr, the 
president of Princeton College, and was the mother of Aaron 
Burr, the third vice-president of the United States, — a man of 
unpleasant memory. 


istry. They established their home at the Manse, 
and spent a few years in the enjoyment of the 
entire confidence of their people, and in devotion 
to each other and their children. 

This Concord minister was a brave and deter- 
mined " Son of Liberty." Bancroft has recorded 
as testimony given him by veterans of that day's 
experience that at the early morning alarm, rung 
out by Amos Melvin, the sentinel at the Court 
House, the minister turned out with the others 
"his gun in hand." The school-boy's first lesson 
in the history of Concord fight has contained the 
old story that the minister of the town was one 
of those who rashly advised that the early morn- 
ing force should stand its ground on the Common 
and abide the attack, but more experienced mili- 
tary men overruled in the excitement of the hour. 
Additional testimony has come from a non-resi- 
dent, who, working in Concord, was enrolled with 
the minute-men. He said he felt he could not 
stand when he saw the redcoats come in sight, 
but was quieted and put in courage by Mr. Emer- 
son's brave words, and hand laid on his shoulder. 

The above should not be construed as conflict- 
ing with the words of a famous author, quoted in 
chapter ix. of "Beneath Old Roof Trees " — they 
refer to different hours of the day. From the 
family narrative we learn that when the Provin- 
cials retreated from the village to the opposite 
side of the river, followed by the British, many 


women and children took refuge in the yard of 
the Manse ; and as the minister's wife and little 
children were in the house with no protector but 
an excited black man-servant (former slave), his 
duty was plain, and he stayed, as a faithful minis- 
ter would, to protect his family, and comfort the 
crowd of helpless parishioners. 

May not the expression, *' Had not the friends 
around him prevented his quitting his doorstep," 
be a poet's account of the demands of a dis- 
tressed people for the service and protection of 
their pastor ? These duties caused the minister 
to be late at the river ; but an official, who came 
a few days later to look over the ground, has 
recorded, '' He saw all that went on, and at first 
was afraid his people would get excited and fire 
first, and after the British volley he feared they 
might not return it." After the enemy fell back 
from the bridge, Mr. Emerson went there, and 
was shocked at findins: the soldier whom an over- 
zealous boy, seeing him striving to rise, had cut in 
the head with a hatchet. 

We are indebted to the Rev. Mr. Emerson's 
journal for the account of the proceedings of 
April 19, 1775, as they impressed him. His 
record has been the foundation of the most re- 
liable narrative of the battle on Concord soil. 
The same preacher has given us a vivid descrip- 
tion of the camp at Cambridge during the siege. 
(See " Beneath Old Roof Trees," p. 73.) 


Rev. William Emerson was of that class of 
which Bancroft wrote, " Eloquent and accom- 
plished chaplains kept alive the habit of daily 
prayer, and preached the wonted sermons on the 
day of the Lord." 

Writing from the camp to his wife at Concord, 
Mr, Emerson said, — 

" There are many things amiss in this camp, yet upon the 
whole, God is in the midst of us." 

On another occasion he wrote: — 

" I despair seeing a battle fought this time coming down." 

While in service in the northern campaign in 
1776, Rev. Mr. Emerson's health failed, and he 
addressed the followins: letter to the commandin«c 
officer : — 

TiCONDEROGA, Sept. lO, \jj6. 
Sir, — My 111 State of Health is such that I am not able 
to perform the Duty of a Chaplain, and am advised by the 
Physicians to ask for a dismission from the Army, and shall 
be glad of your consent and assistance thereto. 

Wm. Emerson. 
To Lt. Collo. B. Brown. 

The Reverend Mr. William Emerson has my Discharge 
from the Northern Army of the United States of America. 
Tyconderoga, loth Septcjuber, 1776. 

Horatio Gates, 
Major General. 

The above letters are in the possession of the 
Emerson family at Concord. 


Mr. Emerson started for home, reached Rut- 
land, Vermont, and died there on October, 20, 
1776. His body was interred with the honors of 
war by a detachment of Colonel Vandyke's Regi- 
ment, commanded by Major Shepard. 

There is a table monument on Burying Ground 
Hill, Concord, on which the following is read : — 



Who DIED AT Rutland, Vt., 1776, /E. y-,^ on his return from 

THE American Army of which he was Chaplain. 

Enthusiastic, eloquent, 

Affectionate and pious. 

He loved his family, his people, 

His God, and his country, and to this last 

He yielded the cheerful sacrifice of his life. 

Rev. John Emerson was two years younger 
than William, and did not make his advent to the 
Maiden parsonage until Joseph had attained his 
majority. He was settled as the first minister 
of Conway, in Franklin County, in 1769. He 
had formed an attachment for a most estimable 
young lady in Boston before he had completed his 
studies; and when called to the new town in the 
wilderness, the brave Sabra Cobb went with him. 
The journey was made on horseback. They were 
married in Boston in 1770. It required moral 
heroism for a young lady to leave the society of 
the seaport town, and go to that distant settle- 
ment, where the people were doing the work of 


pioneers. Within a week after she reached Con- 
way, she saw a bear looking into her bedroom 
window. The young preacher, in writing of him- 
self, said it was literally John preaching in the 

The rustic people had prejudices to overcome, 
and it was a trying time for both parties. But 
the minister's wife soon endeared herself to the 
people, who admitted that she was a lady "if she 
came from Boston." One act shows her to have 
been a judicious, sacrificing woman. She was the 
possessor of a silk umbrella. Such a thing was not 
owned by the people of Conway ; and rather than 
give them occasion for jealousy, or have the ap- 
pearance of being in any way above the women 
of the town, Mrs. Emerson never carried the um- 
brella, but long after made the silk into bonnets 
for her daughters. 

We find that the Conway minister had an expe- 
rience during the Revolution very different from 
that of his brothers in their parishes. 

Rev. Daniel Emerson had some noted Loyalists 
in Hollis, and Rev. William Emerson had one in 
his own family, Daniel Bliss, Esq. ; but Rev. John 
of Conway had a large number who adhered to 
the king, and were most reluctant to fall in with 
the patriots. In dealing \yith these Loyalists, or 
Tories, the young minister of Conway was se- 
verely tried. The following votes, passed during 
the Revolutionary times, serve to show the process 


used against those who were not in sympathy with 
the American cause : — 

At a legal meeting held June 25. 1777, — 

Voted, To try the minds of the town with regard to the 
enimical persons that the Selectmen have entered in a list 
and laid before the town as such separately. 

After giving the list of Loyalists, they — 

Voted. That Captain Alexander Oliver be the person to 
collect the evidence, and lay it before the court against the 
above enimical persons. 

The meeting-house where Rev. John Emerson 
preached on the Sabbath was the place where the 
following peculiar action was taken : — 

At a legal meeting held August 27th, 1777,— 

Voted, That we proceed in some measure to secure the 
enimical persons called Tories among us. Then the ques- 
tion was put, whether we would draw a line between the 
Continent and Great Britain. 

Voted in the affirmative. 

Voted, That all those porsons that stand on tlie side of 
the Continent, take up arms and go hand in hand with us 
in carrying on the war against our unnatural enemies, such 
we receive as friends, and all others treat as enemies. 

Voted, That the broad alley be a line, and the south end 
of the meeting-house be the Continent side, and the north 
end be the British side; then moved for trial, and found 6 
persons to stand on the British side. . . . 

Voted to set a guard ov.:r those enimical persons. 

Voted, The town clerk immediately desire Judge Mather 
to issue out his warrants against those enimical persons re- 
turned to him in a list heretofore. 


The Conway minister survived the war, and lived 
to enjoy the blessings of liberty for many years. 
He saw the settlement in the wilderness grow 
from four hundred to two thousand inhabitants. 

Rev. John Emerson kept a journal, as did the 
other Emerson preachers, and the ministers of the 
time generally. While these journals treat largely 
of private matters, they also serve to show that 
ministerial association was promoted by inter- 
change of visits, and that the parsonages (min- 
isters' homes) of New England were hostleries 
where entertainment was freely dispensed. The 
Conway minister's record of a journey to Bos- 
ton in 1799 ^s of interest. 

May 23. Set out on a journey to Boston ... to consult 
on the present critical and alarming state of our country and 
to devise means for the suppression of infidelity. Rode this 
day as far as Greenwich, dined at Mr. Parson's of Amherst, 
and lodged at Capt. Rich's in Greenwich. 

24th. Proceeded on my journey, dined at Mr. Avery's in 
Holden (Rev. Joseph Avery the minister), and reached Har- 
vard. Lodged at Dea. Whitney's. 

25th. Rose early, breakfasted at my kinsman's, Mr. Emer- 
son's ^ and went on as far as Concord by noon. 

1 Rev. William Emerson, pastor at Harvard from 1792 to 1799, 
was son of Rev. William of Concord, and a nephew of Rev. John, 
who made this visit just at the time when the First Church in 
Boston was offering inducements to the Harvard pastor to exchange 
his country parish for the more popular one at the seaport. He 
did this in the autumn of 1799, and a Boston parsonage, instead of 
that at Harvard, first echoed the voice of the boy Ralph Waldo 


Rev. John Emerson continues his record : — 

I was persuaded, contrary to my intention, to stay with 
Brother Ripley over the Sahbath. 

26th, Lord's Day. Preached for Mr. Ripley. Had some 
freedom and satisfaction in the public service of the day. 
Preached to the acceptance of many, and 1 hope some bene- 
fit." [This visit at Concord was at the parsonage, " Old 
Manse/' and upon his brother's widow Phoebe (Bliss) Emer- 
son, who had become the wife of Rev. Ezra Ripley, the suc- 
cessor of his brother, the patriot preacher of Concord.] 

27th. Set out early from Concord, and took breakfast 
at Dr. Osgood's in Medford (the minister's), and arrived at 
Maiden in safety, after a pleasant and prosperous journey. 
Found my sisters well, and living together in harmony, which 
afforded me much satisfaction. 

On June 13 he set out for home. Dined at 
Concord, drank coffee at Harvard, and proceeded 
to Boylston. Lodged with Mr. Nash, the minis- 
ter, and so on until he reached Conway. 

In the old burying-ground of Conway may be 
seen a gravestone erected by loving hands, on 
which may be read : — 



Who was Born at Mali^en, Nov. 20. 1745, 

Was Settled to the Work of the Ministry in Conway 

July 20, 1769. 

& having preached the Gospel fifty-seven years. 

He died June 26, 1826, 

In the Sist year of his age. 

" PerfiidcDi ct Laborem ad Caelum ascettdity 

" He ascends to heaven through faithfulness and labor." 


89 <» 








t ^^-^ 



>">■: .k-. 





^ "m 






















ii liiilHi 1 iiiP* 


innil!! nllr 

'" ii 


ilHiiliijiy iiiju 1 

014 065 400 



I I 

^i i